Chemistry Professor Frank DeBoer Retires after 41 Years

Retiring Professor of Chemistry Dr. Frank DeBoer with his wife, Hilda

CHICAGO, IL (May 3, 2007) – Joined by his wife Hilda, son Peter, and grateful past and current colleagues, Frank DeBoer, Ph.D. celebrated 41 years of service to North Park at a retirement party in Hamming Hall on Wednesday.

A graduate of Calvin College with a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern, DeBoer came to North Park in 1966 following work at Standard Oil, Argonne National Laboratory, and Continental Can Company, as well as a teaching stint at Trinity Christian College. Throughout his years on North Park's faculty, he taught the full gamut of chemistry courses and served on most standing academic committees within the school.

Academic Dean Charles Peterson acknowledged DeBoer for his "tremendous care for his colleagues and students," as well as his exceptional service beyond the bounds of the North Park campus, including membership in the Christian Reformed Church and service on the boards of Lansing Christian School and Timothy Christian School.

A colleague in the Chemistry Department for the last 37 years, Liland Horten also praised DeBoer, citing his "willingness and capability as an instructor" and the fact that "he rarely, if ever, says no." Horten also acknowledged DeBoer's "fatherly mentoring and counseling of students" and "skillful integration of theory and application." Horten demonstrated the point by reenacting a quiz DeBoer once gave, asking students to explain what had just happened after he suddenly, and shockingly, removed the pin from a fire extinguisher.

Dr. DeBoer shared some words of reflection in closing, thanking those present for their support and acknowledging plans to spend a good deal of his retirement with eight grandchildren in Michigan and three in California. In answer to the oft-asked question, "What are you going to do now?," however, DeBoer admitted he was not committed beyond "things that help people and the cause of Jesus Christ."

He is certainly well practiced, then. From all accounts, this is precisely what he has been doing on the campus of North Park for the last 41 years.