Rachel and Maury Dare Endowed Professorship

October 3, 2012

On September 28 in Hutchinson Auditorium, Florida College hosted an investiture ceremony for its first endowed professorship. The ceremony recognized donors Mr. John and Rosemary Kopel Brown of Portage, Mich. and their gift of $1.5 million given in honor of Ms. Rachel Kopel Dare, a former chemistry professor at the College, and her late husband Maury. The Rachel & Maury Dare Endowed Professorship was presented to Dr. Gary Wilemon. The professorship is the latest in the College’s recent endeavors to expand their health sciences program.

John Brown served as CEO of the Stryker Corporation for 27 years (1977-2004) and as Chairman of their Board of Directors for 28 years (1981-2009). During his time with the Stryker Corporation, he set a performance benchmark of 20% net growth every year, a feat accomplished in all but two years under his management. His tremendous success is chronicled in “Great By Choice,” a business bestseller by Jim Collins.

Rachel and Maury Dare met at the University of Illinois while working for a micro-analytical research laboratory in 1949. Two years later, the couple married, after which they moved to Louisville, Ky. where Maury took a job with Reynolds Aluminum. After Maury’s untimely passing in 1968, Rachel took a full-time position teaching chemistry for a local community college in New Jersey, a position she would hold for the next 38 years. The couple’s connection to Florida College comes in large part through Rachel’s sister, Rosemary Kopel Brown.

Dr. Wilemon earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Montevallo, and a doctorate in Organic Chemistry from the University of Alabama, where he received the Chemistry Department Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and Research.