Brigham Young University will announce the initiation of the Bill and Margaret Pope Professorship in Chemical Engineering on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

"One of the key benchmarks of an extraordinary university is an extraordinary faculty. Bill and Margaret's gift is vital in BYU's effort to support the quality research and teaching at this university," said BYU President Merrill J. Bateman.The endowed professorship fund has been established at $1 million. The professorship will be used to support professors in their research and to help students with research, scholarships and programs in chemical engineering.

"We are extremely grateful for Bill and Margaret Pope, whose selfless generosity will truly enhance the academic experience of our students and advance the scholarly work of our faculty," said Douglas Chabries, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

Instead of one professor receiving the award this year, the professorship will be awarded to two people, Merrill W. Beckstead and Calvin H. Bartholomew.

Bill Pope joined BYU's Chemical Engineering Department in 1958 and taught for 20 years as an associate professor and professor and served as department chair.

In 1966, while still at BYU, Pope formed Megadiamond with two other BYU engineering professors, H. Tracy Hall and M. Duane Horton. Twelve years later, his son, Louis, founded U.S. Synthetic Corporation, with Bill Pope becoming its first president. He is currently chairman of the board of U.S. Synthetic, with Louis Pope serving as president.

Margaret Pope taught religion at BYU for 25 years. She has also been actively involved in community and civic service every year of her adult life. Taught as a child to always give back to the community through personal involvement, her varied responsibilities have included three years as president of the Utah Valley Symphony Guild, Provo City Juvenile Delinquent chairman and the Utah State Educational chairman of the American Cancer Society.

"The interest earned from this generous endowment will be used to help faculty and students. A professor (or professors) will be chosen every five years to receive the award. Recipients will then be able to use the funds to further leading-edge research," Bateman said.