Science & Technology

UWF announces $200k gift for first named lab in Laboratory Sciences Annex

The University of West Florida announced today a $200,000 gift from Roger and Dot Hemminghaus to name the Roy and Henrietta (Etts) Hemminghaus Chemistry Lab in the new Laboratory Sciences Annex. The gift will support scholarships for students in the Department of Chemistry.

(Pictured left to right) Howard Reddy, Vice President of University Advancement; Sherri Hemminghaus Weeks; Roger and Dot Hemminghaus; Dr. Karen Molek, Department of Chemistry Chair; Robin Zimmern, Major Gift Officer

Roger said a campus visit with his daughter and son-in-law, Sherri and Jeff Weeks, inspired him to give to the Department of Chemistry, which is housed in the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. Roger opted to support the annex in honor of his late father, Roy Hemminghaus, who served as senior project coordinator and general manager for the Chemstrand Corporation nylon plant, established in Pensacola in the 1950s.

“It’s our wish for the income from our endowment to provide encouragement and financial means for current and future students to pursue and excel in careers in science and other related fields,” Roger said. “Made possible by a nearly full scholarship, my father was the first in his family of seven children to attend and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree. My mother never had that opportunity, but was certainly an influential partner for Roy and a great role model for me and my siblings.”

Sherri Weeks said her grandfather was known for being a “people-centric” manager, remembering the names of all 4,000 employees, as well as one personal fact related to their family, training and/or job. After serving as the vice president and general manager of the Pensacola plant, Roy became the vice president for all nylon and acrilan manufacturing at the Chemstrand headquarters in Decatur, Georgia. He was also responsible for managing manufacturing facilities in South Carolina, Great Britain and Japan.

“We are grateful for the support of the Hemminghaus family and excited to share the news of the first named lab in our new Laboratory Sciences Annex,” said Dr. Jaromy Kuhl, dean of the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. “This gift will benefit our chemistry students tremendously and carry on the legacy of Roy and Etts.”

The annex houses 12 new teaching facilities for the University’s growing biology and chemistry programs and was designed with unfinished “shell” space for potential expansion. These labs along with the new equipment will provide hands-on educational experiences for students.

For more information about the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, visit