This recent Nobel prize winner decided to give away $250,000 in prize money.
George P. Smith, a emeritus professor of biology, won the 2018 Nobel prize for Chemistry in December.
This past week he announced he will donate every cent to launch the Missouri Nobel Scholarship Fund for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“This might surprise some people, but my first degree was actually a bachelor of arts, not a bachelor of science,” Smith said at a community event in Columbia with his wife, Margie. “My liberal arts education was the springboard for a lifetime of learning and cultural engagement. Margie and I hope that supporting the liberal arts as a whole will enrich the lives of future Mizzou students, whatever careers they choose.”
In support of Smith’s kindness, the university will also donate an additional $30,000 to the scholarship fund.
MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright also announced a new tradition to set aside $100,000 in scholarships, every time a faculty member wins a Nobel Prize. Smith is the first MU faculty member to win a Nobel prize.
“Time and time again we have been overwhelmed by George’s incredibly humble attitude, and today we are amazed even further by his spirit of generosity,” Cartwright said in a statement. “Gifts such as these make it possible for more students to attend our university and have the experience of being taught by other world-class faculty.”
At this week’s scholarship launching event, Smith spoke of his Nobel prize win and the award ceremony he attended with his wife in Stockholm, Sweden, in December, and discussed his work in phage display, a process that allows researchers to easily screen and harvest molecules for attacking bacteria.
This process is now utilized in laboratories worldwide.
According to Kansas City Star, after Smith won one of the most prestigious awards in the world, the University honored him with his own space on a campus bike rack. He lives less than a mile away and rides his bike to work each day.
To this day, faculty members still congratulate him for his win.
“George Smith has been a star of the College of Arts and Science for more than 40 years,” said Pat Okker, the college’s dean. “He is a fabulous researcher, an exceptional teacher and an awesome human being. This gift continues to prove how completely committed George and Margie are to student success.”