Class of 1950
Awarded in 2010
At Large Award
In a basement in Rockford, Illinois, in the mid 1940s, a young man was tinkering on electric motors and photographic film. He was a thoughtful and creative young man full of invention. He knew that some of science’s best lessons come from tinkering and also that if he were to become a scientist, he’d need to study someplace where understanding the world in a more holistic way was valued and impressed upon its students. And so it was soon thereafter that Lowell Ericsson arrived at Beloit College to study biochemistry and where he was challenged, encouraged, and befriended by several memorable professors.
After graduation Lowell went on to a distinguished and noteworthy career; one that has yet to conclude. After graduate study in biochemistry at the University of Chicago, he went on to work at Boeing before moving on to a 40-year career on the faculty at University of Washington. Additionally, in 1971, Lowell and his wife, Nan, partnered in forming AAA Laboratories, which conducts amino acid analysis to this day. Currently, he serves as a research scientist with Amgen Corporation in Seattle.
During his career, Lowell co-authored dozens of scientific papers, collaborated with Nobel Prize winners, became a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was on the board of directors of the United Nations Association of Seattle. He also served on the board of the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund—a scholarship committed to improving the economic and social status of women worldwide. Lowell gives back generously to Beloit, perhaps most profoundly through the Lowell Ericsson Scholarship, which seeks out students in math or the sciences who are concerned about completing college due to financial constraints and who have the potential to do great things, but have perhaps been slow out of the gate. As Lowell stresses, “If a Nobel Prize winner can be a late bloomer, there might be some late bloomers at Beloit, too.”
So today it is with great pride that we are honoring one of Beloit College’s brightest and finest bloomers, Lowell Ericsson, class of 1950, with the 2010 Distinguished Service Citation.