Couple Honored by Alma Mater
late Kenneth Hellman, who taught chemistry at Smith for 37
years until his retirement in 1999, and his wife of 47 years,
Nancy Hellman, who served as special assistant to the first
director of the Picker Engineering Program, were , from which they both received
undergraduate degrees in 1956.
alma mater honored the couple with an Acheivement in the Sciences
Award, given by the college’s Alumnae Association. They
were recognized during the 2006 reunion in June.
were known as a strong team by family, friends, and colleagues,”
says the award citation. “In their lives they made significant
contributions to women’s science education. They were
among Drew classmates who were active in making the Class
of 1956 Scholarship a great success. Their deaths have been
a great loss to their families and to the Class of 1956.”
At Smith, Kenneth
Hellman set an example for his students and colleagues of
determination and civility, building a reputation as an outstanding
teacher who encouraged women toward achievement. He chaired
the college’s chemistry department on several occasions,
and his research in biochemistry resulted in numerous influential
publications. He was presented with Smith’s Honored
Professor Award in the year of his retirement.
Hellman forged her own distinction in education by founding
the Women in Engineering program at the University of Massachusetts,
which she directed for 18 years. She then became the consulting
director of the Women In Technology International Invent Center,
which served the Five Colleges, retiring from that post in
2002. In 1992, Nancy Hellman was awarded the Engineering Alumni
Association’s Special Recognition Award from UMass,
one of several education awards.
The Hellmans were
married two years after their graduation from Drew. Nancy
Hellman died in January 2005, and Kenneth died nine months
later. They are survived by two sons and two grandchildren.