A. Merrill and Winona M. Schnitzer
The A. Merrill and Winona M. Schnitzer Memorial Fund for Chemistry will permanently endow an annual graduate research summer internship at Oklahoma State University.
As graduates of OSU, Merrill and Winona witnessed paradigm shifts on the size, scope and mandate of their alma mater, from enrollment as students in the late 1940s to their respective passings in 2014 and 2015.
Oklahoma State prepared them with educations for life. Winona earned a Bachelor’s degree in business in 1947. Merrill studied Chemistry, earning a Master’s degree in 1949 and a doctoral degree in Organic Chemistry in 1952. After Merrill’s graduation, they moved to the Bartlesville area, where he accepted a position and spent his entire career with Phillips Petroleum. Beginning as a research chemist, Merrill developed several patents through the years. He progressed to Director of Consumer Protection, where his department interfaced Phillips Petroleum’s materials, methods and products with the Environmental Protection Agency. The couple raised a family in Bartlesville, where they were active in school, scouting, church and civic organizations.
“Merrill was an outstanding organic research chemist with a distinguished career at Phillips Petroleum,” says Frank Blum, former Chair of OSU’s Chemistry Department. “He was always interested in the department and its challenges and opportunities. He made a point to regularly communicate with me, and I with him. He and Winona were strong and regular supporters. In his work life, I am aware Merrill was welcome at Phillips even after retirement, where I am sure his advice was often sought. He was an outstanding alumnus and emissary for the Chemistry Department at OSU.”