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Personal Tributes

To submit your personal tribute for Corwin Hansch, please email


I learned with great sorrow about the death of Corwin Hansch. I had the luck of knowing him personally, and spending some time visiting his laboratory. For me, it was the occasion to appreciate his warm, kind personality together with his acute intelligence. This, together with his scientific achievements, make him a special person in the science of the last century, and in this way will be remembered by his friends and colleagues.
Romualdo Benigni

Professor Hansch was a true scholar, teacher, researcher, adviser, mentor, and colleague. He was like a father to me, who introduced me to the field of Medicinal Chemistry and QSAR in 1971, and who later asked me to call him Corwin when I was reluctant to call him other than Dr. Hansch. He was enthusiastic about learning new things even from his student, had generous, wide, and open-minded, and was always kind and friendly. Corwin, I will miss you greatly. I send my sincere condolences to Gloria.
Love, Your the only graduate student,
Paul Ki-Hwan Kim, Ph.D.

Professor Hansch was pivotal in my education and eventual career in many ways. I very likely would not have gone into medicine without his teaching, counsel and advocacy. Taking organic chemistry from him was an essential ingredient, both because of his superb teaching, and more importantly, because of his encouragement and guidance when I was struggling academically. Professor Hansch played a key role in helping me successfully apply to medical school. His example became an embedded influence in my subsequent success in medicine, including teaching and helping others. The memory of visiting with him some years ago while at a class reunion remains vivid and lasting. His legacy is rich for so many of us who benefited from his presence in our lives. For me his legacy lives on whenever I am able to follow his example in my own endeavors and pass those lessons on to subsequent generations.
Gary Nye '61, MD

I had the great privilege of working with Corwin Hansch and being his friend starting in 1987. He was by far the best scientist I have ever met. His work in both predictive pharmacology and toxicology has enriched the lives of millions around the world. Corwin was the most optimistic, forward looking, big hearted person imaginable. He was my hero. I loved him and will miss him. There will never be another Corwin Hansch.
Carr Smith

Professor Corwin Hansch was a major influence on my "chemical life."

We (his students) all called him "Hansch," and many of us came to his office hours on a regular basis each week with questions about his organic chemistry class and about chemistry in general. He was so patient with us.

My classmate, Chris Calley Ziegler '57 said to me, "It makes me wonder how such an impressive person would have taken the time to answer so many mundane questions of mine some 55 years ago."

I second the motion, and I AM grateful. However, in a weird way, as a student at Pomona, I EXPECTED that professors would do this!
Margaret Manatt '57

The Hansch’s became our clients in the mid '50s. My sincere condolences to Gloria and her family.

I’m especially saddened because we last year tried to see them in conjunction with an exhibition commemorating 85 years in practice of our firm. I mounted this in the nearby Arts District of Claremont, but was told they were too infirm to receive us. Now it’s too late.

Having commissioned one of only four Neutra structures in the area, and one of two that survived the Padua Hills fire must also count as a seminal achievement of Dr. Hansch. He and Gloria will always be fondly remembered.

Dion Neutra
Dion Neutra Inc., aka Richard and Dion Neutra, Architects and Associates

I enrolled at Pomona in 1974 with ambitious energy and a vague notion that I wanted to do something in healthcare. I thought I would go on to medical school, because that’s what the “smart” science majors seemed to want to do. Then I took organic chemistry with Dr. Hansch. His lectures were fast paced and enthralling, with no opportunity to lose focus because he could call on you at any time (and frequently did). His interactive teaching style made it difficult not to love organic chemistry (although some probably still did). His Physical Bio-Organic Medicinal Chemistry course was truly inspirational; and I see now that it gave me a lasting focus, one that I still cherish. I was fortunate to get a summer internship in his laboratory, work that led to my first two journal publications as co-author. With his encouragement, I later enrolled in a doctorate program at UCSF and never looked back. Dr. Hansch taught me to think about science at the molecular level, and that has made all the difference in my career. I returned to Pomona for my 25th reunion and found Dr. Hansch in the new science library, poring over journals like always. He looked up and immediately recognized me, smiled and told me how good it was to see me again after all those years. I am sad to learn that he has passed, however I am extremely grateful to have known him.
Mark A. Reynolds '78, Ph.D.


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