Newly dedicated Hach Hall features state-of-the-art classrooms, chemistry equipment

Jacob W. Petrich, professor and chairman of the department of chemistry, shows off a commemorative brick that was a gift to the Hach family at the dedication ceremony for Hach Hall on Friday, Oct. 8.

Nyajuok Deng

A group of about 300 people gathered to dedicate the large, gleaming metal and glass structure known as Hach Hall on Friday.

Hach Hall, the new chemistry facility, is a state-of-the-art building that provides “vital infrastructure” for the future of the chemistry department.

“It’s finally time that we have a building befitting for our department,” said ISU President Gregory Geoffroy.

Hach Hall includes state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories that will help Iowa State stay competitive in the research fields, while providing a better research environment and better quality equipment.

Gina Righi, a senior in agricultural biochemistry, will not have the chance to take a class in Hach Hall because of her graduation in the spring.

Righi said that students who will be taking labs in Hach Hall are “very lucky” because the research they do will be more accurate helping them learn better. Righi also said that Gilman Hall, the older chemistry building, “doesn’t even compare the newer hall.”

Toshia Zessin, graduate student in chemistry, agrees that Hach Hall is an extraordinary building. Zessin said that she feels very privileged to be working inside of the “up-to-date” and “edgy” building. Zessin has been working in the building for about two months now. 

The dedication featured speakers including Geoffroy and Dan Saftig, president of the Iowa State Foundation, which works to get funding for various projects on campus.

Saftig said Hach Hall was a result of a “long-standing dream” that was many years in the making and said that Hach Hall is the “latest in a line of new innovative buildings” here on campus. 

The building is named after the Hach family which includes Kathryn Hach Darrow and her late husband Clifford Hach, who are both ISU alumni.

Clifford Hach was a graduate of the chemistry department and started Hach Chemical Company. Portraits of the two greet people as they walk into the lab area of the first floor.

Michael Whiteford, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the gift the Hachs gave was “a gift that would lead the way for a much-needed chemistry building.”

The Hach family contributed a gift of $10 million to go toward the building of the new chemistry facility.

Kathryn Hach said that the “gift that was made was a gift of gratitude.” Hach said the humble beginnings of her and her husband’s company would not have been possible without Iowa State University.

The Hach family also sponsors a scholarship for undergraduate chemistry students. Diana Merritt, senior in chemistry, said her education at Iowa State is only possible because of the generosity of the Hachs.

Merritt also said the new building will excite new students to learn and conduct research in chemistry. “Hach represents the reason why students want to study chemistry at ISU,” she said.