John Oshchypok made a final cheer for his alma mater when he made a bequest of $1.1 million gift to advance energy-related research in the chemistry department. Oshchypok, as a young chemistry major at the former Case Institute of Technology, raised school spirit as the "A" on the Case cheering squad and urged the Rough Riders down the field for touchdowns in the early 1950's.
Oshchypok's generous gift will enable the College of Arts and Sciences to create the John Oshchypok Professor of Chemistry for 10 years. The new faculty position will be devoted to developing energy-related materials. In addition, the gift will support the start-up costs of establishing a lab, equipment and staffing research.
"Energy is a critical area for research, both in training students and in making a difference in our future," said Cyrus Taylor, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "Our chemistry faculty has the capacity to contribute to groundbreaking, foundational research that will advance the frontier of energy innovation, and this new position will allow Case Western Reserve to bring additional resources to this effort."
Oshchypok's family is equally enthusiastic about the potential impact of this bequest. "If my uncle were looking down at Case, he would be pleased that his gift is being used in this way," said John Hopp, Oshchypok's nephew. "The family thought energy research was a good cause, and it is something needed. The university made a good decision in creating this faculty position."
Oshchypok graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Case Institute of Technology. He was a native Clevelander, who grew up on the city's West Side and attended James Ford Rhodes High School, where he was not only an outstanding student but a popular president of his senior class.
After graduating from Case, Oshchypok wanted to see the world. He joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in the remote Aleutian Islands, where he worked the radar system in the country's defense against the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.
After leaving the Air Force, Oshchypok built his career as a chemical engineer with DuPont, working on highly classified contracts for the Atomic Energy Commission in Terre Haute, Ind., and later worked at the company's plant in Antioch, Cal., that created the chemical components in leaded gas. Oshchypok died in Antioch in 2006.