The Hope College Alumni Association will present three Distinguished Alumni Awards during the college's Alumni Day on Saturday, May 7.
Being honored this year are Dr. Richard E. Smalley, a member of the Class of 1965 from Houston, Texas; Dr. William C. Waggoner, a member of the Class of 1958 from Tewksbury, N.J.; and L. Ling-chi Wang, a member of the Class of 1961 of San Francisco, Calif.
The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in recognition of the awardees' contributions to society and service to Hope. The award, presented during the college's Alumni Banquet, is the highest honor that alumni can receive from the college's Alumni Association.
Smalley is a member of the faculty at Rice University, where he is the University Professor, the Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry, and a professor of physics. He is also director of the Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory at Rice, and is chairman of Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.
In 1996, he and two other researchers won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for discovering "buckyballs" - buckminsterfullerenes, or carbon 60, the third molecular form of carbon.
He has received several other awards and prizes for his research. Among other honors, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1990 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991, and was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2003. He has been awarded eight honorary degrees.
Smalley attended Hope from 1961 to 1963 before completing a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1965. After working for several years as a research chemist for Shell Chemical Company, he attended Princeton University, where he completed a Master of Arts degree in 1971 and a doctorate in 1973.
He joined the Rice faculty in 1976 as a professor of chemistry, and has been a member of the physics department since 1990. He was named to his endowed chair in 1982.
In April of 2002, Smalley presented the college's annual James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship in Chemistry. In 1985 he had also given a guest lecture at Hope concerning the ground-breaking research that ultimately earned the Nobel Prize. He has two sons, Chad and Preston.
Waggoner is chief executive officer of Essex Institutional Review Board (EIRB), an accredited, professional, research medical ethics organization. He has been active in the drug, device and cosmetic industry for more than 40 years, and has traveled world-wide as a lecturer and consultant in medical ethics. At Hope he majored in German, and minored in biology and chemistry. He was on the victorious freshman pull team during his freshman year and played football for Hope in his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also attended both the first and second Hope Vienna Summer School programs in 1956 and 1957.
Following graduation, Waggoner worked as a medical technician at Gratiot Community Hospital in Alma. From there he went to Michigan State University, and completed a Master of Science and doctorate in physiology.
He went on to conduct research with a variety of companies, including Colgate-Palmolive Company and Johnson & Johnson. In 1984 he acquired his own clinical research company, Clinical Evaluations Inc. He started EIRB in 1985 and has since devoted himself to the field of medical research ethics.
He has had publications in several professional journals and authored a book on clinical efficacy and safety testing. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, and twice past president of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.
Waggoner is an avid pilot and sailor, and is a volunteer pilot for Angelflight Northeast and a Regional Race Officer for United States Sailing Association. In addition, he is a life member of United States Sailing Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and New York Yacht Club.
He has returned to campus on several occasions, and in December of 1998 addressed gatherings of students and business and medical professionals concerning medical research ethics.
He and his wife, Nancy, have eight children, Kathy, Julianna, Susan, Richard, Sonja, John, Mary and William.
Wang is an associate professor in Asian American studies at the University of California-Berkeley. He is known internationally for his work for multicultural understanding and equality for all people.
Born in Xiamen (Amoy), Fujian China, he completed his secondary education in Hong Kong. After majoring in music at Hope, he completed a B.D. in Old Testament studies at Princeton Seminary. He completed an M.A., and did additional work, in Semitic studies at UC-Berkeley.
Wang has been a member of the UC-Berkeley faculty since 1972, and is past chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and past director and coordinator of Asian American Studies.
He became active in civil rights issues while in graduate school, and his interests have ranged from pre-school care to campaign finance reform. He founded Chinese for Affirmative Action, and currently chairs the organization's board of directors. He is a former board member of several community organizations.
Wang's professional activities include serving as president of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, and he is secretary-treasurer of, and founded, the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas. He has chaired a variety of national and international conferences.
He is the author of numerous articles published in scholarly journals, books and encyclopedias, with much of his work focusing on the experience of Asian Americans in the United States.
Wang returned to campus most recently in 2001 for his 40-year class reunion, and has attended regional events in the San Francisco area. He hosted the college's Baker Scholars during the group's trip to California in 2000. He and his wife, Linda, have three children, Wei-min, Wei-lin and Wei-ying.