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Chemical engineering alumnus and wife to establish student activities fund

Megan Reed | Mar 27, 2017
John Imes and his wife Sally in front of an Ohio University insignia

Chemical engineering alumnus and wife to establish student activities fund

Megan Reed | Mar 27, 2017

A Russ College alumnus and his wife, who met at Ohio University more than 50 years ago, have committed to creating a student activities fund for chemical and biomolecular engineering students to support their competitions, interdisciplinary projects, and travel for research presentations.

John Imes, BSCHE ’69, and his wife Sally, BSEd ’68, decided to make the gift when they revisited campus shortly after John’s retirement in 2010. They met with Department Chair Valerie Young and were impressed when they learned the Russ College wants to better its students not just as engineers, but as people.

“While I was walking through the facility with Dr. Young, it was apparent she not only knew the students’ names but knew about each of them as individuals,” John Imes said. “She also explained the department liked to pair or group students of different backgrounds and different personalities – those who were a little more introverted would be paired with someone more outgoing so the former could break out of his or her shell, and the latter could learn how to deal cooperatively in a team effort to meet goals,” he added.

It was then that they decided to become part of the effort.

The first in his family to go to college in at least eight generations and recipient of a scholarship, John Imes said he doubts he could have attended without the financial support, likening it to a ticket to opportunity. With no peers to rely on, he struggled at first but later found mentors who encouraged him.

“In particular, Dr. Nicholas Dinos was a favorite professor of mine. Besides being a great teacher of difficult topics in chemical engineering, he also had a plethora of ‘life stories’ that he shared with the class,” he said. “I took several courses from him just to listen to those stories.”

The Imes Family Student Activities Fund will support students’ endeavors beyond the classroom to help them become more aware of the world around them and prepare to create for good as engineers.

“I know from personal experiences the value of attending professional societies and conferences and the ability to expand the person’s horizons. That seems to fit well with the mission to develop the whole student,” said Imes, who spent his career at a chemical company. “We are both pleased and humbled to part of that mission.”