Interim Provost William Franz, Chemistry Professor April Marchetti
and President Robert Lindgren
The first Garnett -Lambert Endowed Professorship in Chemistry was awarded to Chemistry
Professor April Marchetti ’97 on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in the McGraw-Page
Library on the R-MC campus.
Alan Rashkind, chair of the R-MC Board of Trustees, welcomed faculty, staff, family
and friends to the installation ceremony. “Recognizing a distinguished faculty member
with an endowed professorship is always a special occasion and I am delighted to
participate in this ceremony as Professor April Marchetti receives the new Garnett-Lambert
Professorship in Chemistry,” said Rashkind. “Dr. Marchetti is a highly-respected
member of the Randolph-Macon family, and this professorship is an honor that symbolizes
the very best of this fine college.”
R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren congratulated Marchetti on her professorship.
“Professor Marchetti, on behalf of the Randolph-Macon community, it is my pleasure
to congratulate you on this most impressive distinction,” he said. “Your teaching,
scholarship and service, together with your exceptional role as mentor to students
and faculty within your department and throughout the college, eminently qualify
you for this distinguished Randolph-Macon professorship.”
R-MC Interim Provost William Franz conferred the professorship on Marchetti, who
thanked her family and colleagues for their support and guidance. She recounted
her first days as a student at R-MC and the people who helped shape her future.
“I was young, naïve and hadn’t ever really thought about where my life was going,”
she said. “And then I met all those people who helped me on my way – the people
who put me into science and math courses even though I didn’t want them (thanks,
Marilyn Gibbs), the professors who instilled in me a love of science by lighting
the laboratory desk on fire the first week of class, the friends who encouraged
me to get out of the lab once in a while, and my mom and dad, who encouraged me
to stick through the whole college experience, both good and bad. All the people
that I just mentioned encouraged and helped me with no expectation of me ever paying
them back with anything other than gratefulness and kind thoughts, but in my mind
I owe them a great debt, because they’ve given me the life that I have today.”
Marchetti, an associate professor of chemistry, joined the faculty in 2001 and earned
tenure in 2008. She teaches general, analytical and instrumental chemistry. In 2009,
she developed a curriculum to facilitate students entering the field of education
with majors in chemistry and she serves as a mentor and advisor to students who
elect teaching as a career. Marchetti also teams up with Professor Serge Schreiner
to teach the popular course, The Chemistry of Winemaking. During this class, which
is taught during R-MC’s January Term, students have traveled to such places as Australia,
Napa Valley, San Francisco, and Davis, California to learn about the production
of wine from planting to harvesting. Marchetti and Schreiner have presented their
experiences with this class during the American Chemical Society National Meeting
and its SCI-MIX poster presentation.
Marchetti’s research interests include analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry,
forensic chemistry and NMR analysis. Her current research projects include developing
a way to detect high fructose corn syrup in honey and developing a way to distinguish
between biomass ethanol and synthetic ethanol in fuel. In 2006, she was part of
a research team that won a U.S. patent for their groundbreaking discovery in the
field of polymers, “Photo-imageable Compositions of Norbornene and Acrylate Copolymers.”
Marchetti has presented her innovative research findings at more than two dozen
academic and professional conferences and has published her work in refereed journals.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Marchetti is very active on the R-MC campus
with both faculty and student organizations. She serves as president of the Phi
Beta Kappa Zeta Chapter, which was recognized in 2009 as the most outstanding chapter
at a liberal arts college in the United States. Marchetti, who was inducted into
the prestigious honor society while a student at R-MC, serves as faculty secretary
for Omicron Delta Kappa, the college’s leadership honorary organization and is the
faculty advisor to the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Marchetti graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree
in chemistry and earned her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 2001.
The Garnett-Lambert Professorship in Chemistry was established in 2008 and is named
for Muscoe Garnett, Class of 1930, and his wife Dorothy, and Jordan Wheat Lambert,
Class of 1872.
Muscoe Garnett, who was greatly interested in chemistry, was a student assistant
in that department while a student at R-MC. After graduation, he moved to Suffolk,
Virginia where he taught math, science and English for one year at Cypress High
School. After a short term in the United States Army, he returned to Suffolk where
he eventually became founder and president of Garnett Oil Company. The company was
later sold to the Exxon Corporation.
Jordan Wheat Lambert, along with Dr. Joseph Lawrence, developed the original formula
for Listerine antiseptic in 1879. It was first used as a disinfectant for surgical
procedures and was named after English surgeon Dr. Joseph Lister, who performed
the first antiseptic surgery in 1865. The Lambert Pharmaceutical Company was formed
in 1884 to market Listerine to the medical community. By 1895, Lambert discovered
that Listerine also killed germs in the mouth and began selling it to dentists.
Endowed professorships are made possible through gifts of at least $1 million and
broaden teaching and research opportunities for distinguished faculty members. Randolph-Macon
College currently has twelve endowed professorships.
For more information, please contact Anne Marie Lauranzon at 804-752-7317,