Nolan and Gloria Sommer Lectureship

Dr. Nolan B. Sommer retired as a Senior Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of American Cyanamid Company in June, 1978. During his 10 years as a Cyanamid corporate officer and Director, Dr. Sommer was also a member of the Executive Committee. He had major responsibility for the continued development of the company's operations outside the United States. He played a key role in Cyanamid's planning and acquisition efforts, as well as expanding Cyanamid's federal government relations. He also served as the principal company spokesman before the academic community and visited campuses throughout the United States.

Dr. Sommer was named a Cyanamid Vice President in February 1967. During the previous year he served as President and General Manager of Formica Corporation (a Cyanamid subsidiary), which pioneered in the development of the laminated plastic industry. Prior to that he was the president of Jefferson Chemical Company, a joint petrochemical venture of Cyanamid and Texaco, Inc.

Dr. Sommer began his career with Cyanamid as a research chemist at the Stanford, CT Research Laboratory in 1944. After holding a number of technical and commercial positions, he was named Assistant General Manager of the Corporate Development and Planning Division in 1960 and General Manager of the Chemical Research Division in 1961.

Born in Merna, Nebraska, Dr. Sommer holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Indiana University. Active in professional associations, he is a past President of the Commercial Chemical Development Association, and the recipient of its 1968 Honor Award. Dr. Sommer was Chairman of the Society of Chemical Industry, American Section, 1972-1973, and is a former Director of the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Dr. Sommer has served as a Director of a number of companies in the chemical and related industries. He served five terms as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, New Jersey. In 1983 he was appointed by Governor Kean to the New Jersey Health Care Administration Board, the top health care policy-making body of the state. He served until 1991 as a member and Vice Chairman of that board. He was also a member of the Board of the Center for Health Affairs of the State of New Jersey Hospital Association and was immediate past Chairman of the Board of the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra.

Past Recipients
  • 2017 - Richard W. Roberts
  • 2013 - Barbara Imperiali
  • 2005 - Carolyn Bertozzi
  • 2004 - Michael L. Gross
  • 2003 - Victor J. Hruby
  • 2002 - Ned A. Porter
  • 2001 - Gunda I. Georg
  • 2000 - G. Robert Pettit
  • 1999 - Paul T. Anastas
  • 1998 - Steven A. Benner
  • 1995 - Arthur Kornberg