Remembering the life and generosity of William Gumprecht


We regret to pass along the sad news that alumnus Dr. William Gumprecht (BS, ’53) passed away on May 3, 2019 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Dr. Gumprecht was born in Potsdam, New York, and received his BS in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1953. After completing his PhD at the University of Minnesota, Gumprecht accepted a position with DuPont, where he went on to have a successful career spanning nearly 40 years. Bill traveled extensively for DuPont to various worldwide locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, representing the company at fluorine conferences, as a troubleshooter, and as the chemical expert on joint venture agreements in Russia and China. Bill held many patents in fluoro products, including the development of substitutes for chloro-fluoro products, which were destroying the ozone layer. After retirement, he served as an expert in several patent infringement cases.

Dr. Gumprecht had been a loyal supporter of the Department of Chemistry, with annual gifts since 1974 and a generous estate gift totaling more than $400,000 over his lifetime. Most of these gifts have been unrestricted, providing the department with crucial spending flexibility to direct support to areas with the greatest need. His endowed estate gift ensures that his support will continue to benefit the department in perpetuity.

The Department of Chemistry remembers Dr. Gumprecht’s achievements, his longstanding friendship with Illinois, and his loyal generosity with fondness and gratitude.