The Annual North Cross School Distinguished Alumnus Award is given to a member of the North Cross alumni community who has made distinguished and outstanding contributions to his or her profession or field of interest and has brought benefit to the community or humanity and honor to North Cross while embodying the values and spirit of the school.
Dr. Dichtel, a professor at Northwestern University and a rising star working in new materials at the nanoscale, was nominated for the award as a result of his innovative studies in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry. His research with COFs has applications to water purification, batteries and other energy storage.
Dr. Dichtel released the following statement regarding his early education and preparation at North Cross and the teachers who made a strong impact on his career:
“I entered North Cross in the 4th grade in 1987, when my family moved to Roanoke from Washington, DC, and remained there until I graduated in 1996,” said Dichtel. “One of the best things about North Cross was the small class sizes and flexibility to tailor the curriculum for my interests. North Cross let me and a few others take math on an accelerated schedule such that I took two years of Calculus there, which was unusual at the time. During my senior year, chemistry teacher Dr. Jerry Maycock, a PhD-level organic chemist, gave up his free period to give me independent instruction in organic chemistry...I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the experience of learning from these wonderful teachers. They definitely set me forth on a path to pursue my interests at the highest levels.”