Westminster College Recognizes the Scientific Contributions of Kim Renee Dunbar with Honorary Degree

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Kim Renee Dunbar Kim Renee Dunbar

A pioneer in the field of inorganic chemistry, Kim Renee Dunbar and her team at Texas A&M University have made significant contributions to the international scientific community. Her work has gone on to pioneer new applications in the field, and she has earned distinctions such as an Honorary Degree from Westminster College for her contributions.

Over an illustrious career, Kim Renee Dunbar has made a significant impact on the research of inorganic chemistry and has been given a number of awards and accolades to honor her work.

She and her team at Dunbar Research Group focus their studies on inorganic chemistry with a special emphasis on coordination chemistry. Their work helps scientists understand the relationship between molecular structure and physical properties, and spans topics like anti-cancer compounds, multifunctional materials with organic radicals, and molecular magnetism.

In the past, Kim Renee Dunbar was named a Davidson Professor of Science in addition to being a joint holder of the Davidson Chair in Science. She’s a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and has received the American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry. She was also awarded the title of Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry for the impact her research has had on the scientific community

Dunbar received an honorary degree, doctor of science, honoris causa, during Westminster’s 158th commencement ceremonies in front of an audience of thousands. The degree recognized her distinguished contributions in the field of chemistry in laboratories and clinical settings around the world. The ceremony honored her as both a living legend and a highly-distinguished university alumni (she was a 1980 Westminster graduate). After presenting her with the award, the university asked Dunbar to speak, and she shared thoughts on Blue Skies: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education.

“I sincerely believe that my education at Westminster College provided me with the tools that I desperately needed to decide first, what I wanted to think about and second, what I wanted to do with this information,” Kim Renee Dunbar said after receiving the award. “My liberal arts education facilitated a desire to experiment: to explore entirely unknown territories without fear and with the confidence that questioning my own knowledge is not only a good idea but is absolutely necessary in order to be a good scientist and mentor.”

The honorary degree was just the latest in a long line of professional achievements. Kim Renee Dunbar earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Purdue University and then performed research as a postdoctoral fellow at Texas A&M University. She joined the Michigan State University faculty as a professor of chemistry and earned the title of University Distinguished Professor while there. Since transferring back to Texas A&M in 1999 to work in their Department of Chemistry, she’s led the university to new heights and has made strides in the subjects of synthetic, structural, and physical inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry.