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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Reed College will open the 2002-03 academic year with convocation ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27, in the Kaul Auditorium on the Reed campus. The Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology will be given to Kenneth N. Raymond, a 1964 Reed graduate and professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley who is noted for his pioneering research in bioinorganic chemistry.

The program also includes an address, "Odysseus and the Arts of Memory," by Nathalia King, professor of English and humanities.

The Vollum Award was created in 1975 as a tribute to the late C. Howard Vollum, a 1936 Reed graduate and lifelong friend of the college. Winners are selected for the perseverance, fresh approach to problems and solutions, and creative imagination that characterized Vollum’s career. The award winner receives $5,000 and a silver medal encased in a walnut triptych. The Vollum Award was endowed in 1975 by a grant from the Millicent Foundation, now a part of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Kenneth N. Raymond ’64 is a founder of the field of bioinorganic chemistry and has long been celebrated for his significant contributions to the chemical sciences. A member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Chemical Society Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic Chemistry.

Raymond has been working on finding chemical agents that can safely remove concentrations of poisonous metal ions from the human body. He has been designing chemical compounds modeled after the compounds manufactured by bacteria and other microorganisms to transport iron. For instance, Raymond's synthetic agents bind tightly enough with plutonium so that it can be passed through the kidneys and excreted out of the body. The U.S. Department of Energy has found that these agents could also prove valuable for safely and inexpensively removing radioactive contaminants from the environment.

Born in Astoria, Oregon, Ken Raymond attended Clackamas High School. After Reed, he earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, then joined the faculty at the University of California—Berkeley. Raymond was chair of the American Chemical Society's division of inorganic chemistry in 1996. His other honors and award include the Ernest O. Lawrence Award of the Department of Energy, a Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists, the Basolo Medal from Northwestern University, and the Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie "Frontiers in Biological Chemistry" award.

Author of 10 patents and over 300 research publications, Raymond is on the editorial board of several journals of inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry. He is also a faculty senior scientist of the chemical sciences division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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