Jeffrey Moore has been named the Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair, which is deemed to be among the most distinguished honors on campus.
“All of our faculty stand out in many ways nationally and internationally and yet only a select few are chosen for named appointments,” Provost Andreas Cangellaris said. “This is especially true for the Swanlund endowed chair and the Ikenberry endowed chair, two of the highest honors that can be given to a faculty member at Illinois.”
The Ikenberry appointment was established in honor of Stanley O. Ikenberry, the 14th president of the University of Illinois, and is funded by a gift from Geraldine B. Cooke and other sources.
“It is important to reflect on the significance of support by donors and friends of the university, because it is this support and investment in our institution that allows us to nurture and foster the work of our community,” Cangellaris said. “I don’t believe there is a better way to impact the university other than investment in its people, ideas, and human potential.”
Moore, a professor of chemistry and of materials science and engineering and director of Beckman Institute, is a renowned scholar the world knows about through action and scholarship at the grandest level, Cangellaris said.
“As director of the Beckman Institute, we are extremely lucky to have him in that role, because his leadership has been bold, pioneering, passionate, and embraced by all who have the opportunity to work within one of the most exciting leadership initiatives on this campus,” Cangellaris said during the investiture ceremony. “He is humble in the way he engages with people and the way he talks about what is possible and is admirable in the way he inspires people by just approaching them and asking them to just imagine what we can do.”
Moore was named the director of the Beckman Institute in 2017. He earned a bachelor’s in chemistry and a PhD in materials science at Illinois, and served on the faculty of University of Michigan before joining Illinois in 1993.
During the ceremony, Vice Provost Kevin Pitts read a letter from President Emeritus Stanley Ikenberry, who could not be present.
“To have an endowed chair carry one’s name is humbling, but for the incumbent of the chair to also carry the leadership role as the director of the Beckman Institute is an even greater delight,” Pitts read.
There’s no one more deserving of this recognition, as Moore is one of the most passionate and accomplished leaders at Illinois, Hu added.
“(Moore) is one of those great individuals who does everything incredibly, incredibly well, from research to teaching to academic leadership,” Hu said.
A photo of the groundbreaking of the Beckman Institute hangs outside Moore’s office. In the photo, which Moore shared during the ceremony, Ikenberry is pictured.
“We’re all eating apples from trees we didn’t plant, and every day I look out my window and that’s the picture I see,” Moore said.
He said the Beckman Institute came from an amazing vision that that university leadership had at the time to imagine not only what the campus could become but to harness the idea that individuals specializing in disciplines from each corner of campus could come together and work—a notion that, at the time, was not as fully developed as it is today.
For Moore — the sixth director at the Beckman Institute — collaboration has been the process that’s defined his career. To prove this, Moore shared a photo of his curriculum vitæ and suggested the audience choose pronouns carefully.
“While it might be easy for you to say that is a copy of my CV, I think it’s really representative of the tremendous work that has been poured into efforts that I have had the fortune of being the director of — be it my research group, innovations in the classroom, or leadership at the Beckman Institute,” he said. “In thinking of this CV, it’s really our CV that is represented and the accomplishments that are in that for which I’ve been given this distinction.”
Moore also identified members of his team who help with his day to day and in the process of complex projects from research to the classroom.
Moore shared a final photo that included his wife, who he says has been his constant source of honest guidance.
“My first point was to really recognize that we are all eating apples from trees we didn’t plant, my second point was to remember to use your pronouns correctly, and the third point is to identify your sources of love, support, and guidance,” he said.
Excerpts from a story by Kayleigh Rahn, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - full story here.