Grad. School awards former geology prof.

By Pam Schmidt

Former NIU geology Professor Samuel Goldich will be one of several people receiving awards from the NIU Graduate School during commencement ceremonies on May 9.

Goldich, a professor who taught geology from 1968 until his retirement in 1977, will receive an honorary doctorate degree of science.

Ellen Anderson, a member of the Honorary Degree committee, said Goldich was chosen because he is an “exemplary model of a research scientist who—with insight, patience and dedication—has made fundamental scientific breakthroughs in science and technology to develop new fields of inquiry and provide practical benefits to society.”

“We (the committee) unanimously voted Sam (Goldich) as our first choice,” Anderson said. “We received strong recommendation letters from all over the country about (Goldich).

Malcolm Weiss, an NIU geology professor and long-time friend of Goldich, said, “Sam (Goldich) was a stimulating teacher. He liked to reform academic wrecks.”

Weiss said Goldich’s contributions to geology include the study of the chemical weathering and radiometric dating of rocks, which tells the errosion and age of rocks. He also contributed in the establishment of the isotope branch of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1956, which deals with the dating of rocks.

Because of Goldich’s work, geologists are more knowledgeable about earth history and can better understand the balances so damage to the environment can be avoided, Weiss said.

Although Goldich is retired, he works as an adjunct professor at the Colorado Mines and as a volunteer in the isotope branch of the U.S. Geology Survey.

The graduate school will present the award to Goldich at commencement in the Duke Ellington Ballroom in the Holmes Student Center.