The Minnie N. Goldby Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry was established by Steve Goldby, CEO of Symyx Technologies of Santa Clara, Calif., to honor his mother, who was widowed in her early thirties.

“She was left with three children under the age of six, had no job skills and little money, other than Social Security payments,” Goldby said. “Somehow, she raised and educated us all. Honoring her is the least I can do.”

Goldby and his wife, Florence, created the Minnie N. Goldby Distinguished Professorship with a $666,000 gift. Their gift received a $334,000 matching grant from the state’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund. The Goldbys’ gift plus the state match created a $1 million endowment and a permanent professorship in Minnie Goldby’s name.

“Choosing the UNC chemistry department is only fitting. It is a great institution from which I received an education that has served me well for nearly 40 years,” Goldby said. “I went through the University with a scholarship and a series of jobs, graduating debt-free. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give something back.”

“Evidently, Steve Goldby’s incredible aptitude for success was learned at an early age from his mother, who modeled the hard work and persistence he has demonstrated throughout his life,” Ed Samulski, a professor and former chairman of the chemistry department, said. “We will honor this remarkable woman’s spirit by awarding this professorship to someone who exhibits the same work ethic.”

(excerpts from a fall 2000 Carolina Connections article by Kristina Casto)

The Minnie N. Goldby Distinguished Professor in Chemistry

2004 – Present: Mike Ramsey