F. Sherwood Rowland Leaves Legacy of Dedication That Goes Beyond Nobel Prize-winning Research
Nobel Laureate and CCST Senior Fellow F. Sherwood Roland passed away on March 10 at age 84 in Corona del Mar. Image courtesy of UCI.
CCST Senior Fellow F. Sherwood Rowland, who passed away on March 10 at age 84, was known for many
significant accomplishments. A founding professor of the Chemistry Department at UC Irvine, he was a
widely acclaimed scientist who won a Nobel Prize for demonstrating that chlorofluorocarbons damage
and could destroy the Earth's ozone layer. But Rowland was also known for his sense of social
responsibility and a passionate dedication to education.
"He was not only a great scientist, but a superb teacher," said Francisco Ayala, Donald Bren
Professor of Biological Sciences and professor of Philosophy at UC Irvine. "He had an enormous
standard of morality, but was also very level-headed and persuasive. This made him an effective
advocate for causes he believed in, including math and science education."
Among his many other activities, Rowland was a founding board member for the COSMOS program, a
merit-based summer school run by the University of California at four UC campuses. Each summer, the
four-week residential program serves over six hundred high-school aged students, who are provided
with the opportunity to work with renowned faculty, researchers, and scientists in state-of-the-art
facilities while exploring advanced STEM topics far beyond the courses usually offered in California
"Dr. Rowland was fully committed to COSMOS," said Ayala. "The notion that underlies the program
was important to him, because the future of the scientific enterprise depends on well-prepared
intellects. He was dedicated to furthering science and math education opportunities for youths."
"He helped shape this outstanding summer educational enrichment program, which was created for
California high school students who excel in math and science," said Gayle Wilson, chairman emeritus
of COSMOS and former first lady of California. "Dr. Rowland was an active Board member, whose
knowledge, wisdom, and life experience added greatly to the discussion. He was a soft-spoken man
with a spine of steel - everyone listened when he spoke. Dr. Rowland will be missed by us all."
"Dr. Rowland was a great scientist who deeply understood the needs to inspire our children,"
added CCST Executive Director, and COSMOS Board member, Susan Hackwood.
"He was a deciding factor in my decision to come to UCI," said Ayala. "He was a remarkable man on
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