UCI’s Rowland Hall was officially designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society in a campus ceremony Tuesday. The building is named after F. Sherwood “Sherry” Rowland, a founding faculty member whose groundbreaking research in the 1970s demonstrated the potentially catastrophic effect of chlorofluorocarbons on the Earth’s ozone layer, which protects against the sun’s powerful ultraviolet radiation. Rowland and his postdoctoral scholar Mario Molina were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the work. Rowland also helped establish UCI as a leading center for atmospheric chemistry and air quality research, which continues today. The dedication included remarks from UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman, American Chemical Society President Allison Campbell, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and Rowland’s longtime lab partner, UCI chemistry professor Donald Blake. Gillman said that in checking the ACS landmark website, he couldn’t find any others that had housed work averting global catastrophe, and he praised Rowland for his decades of service to the campus and the world. In conjunction with the event, AirUCI hosted a two-day symposium on air quality issues, featuring a national roster of speakers addressing scientific and economic research, public policy and societal impacts. At the end of the dedication ceremony, Campbell and Gillman unveiled a bronze plaque commemorating the Rowland-Molina discovery that will be mounted on the building.
Rowland Hall earns chemical landmark status