Nothing Sells Like a Story

TRD097aBryan Gatzlaff, with RSP Architects, opened his 15 minute presentation before the MN Design Board with this story about a man who left a legacy at the University of Minnesota.

The man was Izaak Koltoff and he arrived in 1927 at the University of MN for a one year term as a professor of chemistry. After that first year he decided to stay on, eventually becoming head of the school’s analytical chemistry division, a position he held until he retired 30 years later.

Koltoff is often regarded as the father of analytical chemistry, having elevated an empirical field to a modern scientific discipline. Hundreds of students have gone on to win prestigious awards and become major contributors to the world of analytical chemistry. Kolthoff Hall at the University of Minnesota is named after him.

Gatzlaff ended his story by saying, “We don’t see our job as updating the bricks and mortar of this building, or the chemistry labs and lecture halls; instead we see our job as preserving this man’s legacy and what it has meant to the University and its reputation as a leader in the field.”

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