Faculty members selected for distinguished chairs
Three LAS professors receive prestigious honor
Stephen P. Long, a professor of plant biology and crop sciences, and Jeffrey S. Moore, a professor of chemistry, were named Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chairs. Antoinette Burton, a professor of history, and Nathan Gunn, a professor of music, were named Swanlund Endowed Chairs.
Chancellor Robert Jones selected the recipients on the recommendation of a committee headed by Interim Provost John Wilkin. The endowed chairs take effect Aug. 16, extend for five years and are renewable. They provide a salary stipend and financial support for the recipient's research.
“The reputation and accomplishments of this university are built on the outstanding work of our faculty,” Jones said. “These endowed chairs are a loud and clear public recognition of the scholarly and educational contributions of these four individuals.”
Long is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the departments of plant biology and crop sciences. He uses computational and experimental approaches to improve photosynthetic efficiency, and works to address the effects of climate change on crop yield. Long was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2013, and has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a highly cited researcher in the field of plant and animal science every year since 2005.
Moore is the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, a professor of materials science and engineering, and a faculty member of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Frederick Seitz Material Research Lab. He was named the director of the Beckman Institute in 2017. He earned a bachelor’s in chemistry and a Ph.D. in materials science at Illinois, and served on the faculty of University of Michigan before joining the U of I in 1993.
Burton is a historian of 19th- and 20th-century Britain and its empire. She’s written on topics ranging from feminism and colonialism to the relationship of empire to the nation and the world. Women, gender, and sexuality have always been central to her research, much of which has been concerned with the role of gender and race in the imperial and postcolonial imagination. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
An operatic baritone and an Illinois alumnus, Gunn has sung around the world in nearly every major venue and with every major conductor. His repertoire includes opera, operetta, musical theater, recital oratorio, and the cultivation of new works. He is a recipient of the Rose D’Or award, the Beverly Sills award, two Grammys for best opera recording and was a Metropolitan National Council winner. He is a co-director of Lyric Theatre at Illinois.
The Ikenberry appointment was established in honor of the 14th president of the University of Illinois, and is funded by a gift from Geraldine B. Cooke and other sources.
The Swanlund chairs were established through a gift from longtime U of I supporter Maybelle Swanlund.
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