By day, aspiring chemical engineer Ray Mentzler could often be found alone in a lab for the better part of the early ’70s.
“Solitude studying in the chemistry library at Noyes Lab,” he says, “hoping that some of the wisdom of the dozen U of I chemistry Nobel Prize winners would rub off.”
And by night?
“Listening to REO Speedwagon at Red Lion with no cover charge” remains a career highlight, Mentzer says, “as well as several concerts at the former Assembly Hall.”
ExxonMobil’s former global upstream safety, health and environment manager, now a Purdue visiting professor of chemical engineering, was selected to give the keynote address at the 2019 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering commencement ceremony.
It’s just the latest contribution to his alma mater — in 2010, he and wife Beverly created the Dr. Ray A. Mentzer Scholarship Fund.