Bob Norris’66 DSC
Distinguished Service Citation
Class of 1966
Throughout his career, Bob Norris has consistently engaged with his community and expressed concern about the environment. During his time at the college, in true Beloit fashion, he strayed from the traditional science path of a chemistry major, opting to take a broader range of classes, such as music, which he credits for helping to woo his future wife of 50 years.
Bob obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. He is credited as a co-founder of “in situ environmental remediation.” For this, he has been awarded more than 11 U.S. patents on a variety of technologies and recognized by his peers in the in-situ remediation industry with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bob has kept his environmental focus but shifted it somewhat from caring for the land to caring for people. After the passing of their son, Bob and his wife, Kathleen, established the David Norris’92 Endowed Memorial Student Research Fund at Beloit College to help science majors explore their passions by funding their research.
But Bob isn’t just distributing funds. He deals in action. He returns frequently to Beloit to offer lectures in the sciences. For several years, he’s also been a crusader for immigration rights in the state of Colorado, and he holds a variety of leadership positions on boards focused on lobbying for laws and policies that benefit immigrants. Invested personally in this issue, he makes a yearly trek across the migrant trail from Arizona to Mexico. Along the way, he’s inspired several Beloit students to complete the journey during their spring breaks.
For his commitment to the environment and to human rights, and for embodying the mission of Beloit College, the Alumni Association is pleased to award the Distinguished Service Citation, its highest honor, to Robert D. Norris on this, his 50th Reunion.