Dr. Dichtel made a last-minute change to his presentation to the class as he had just learned some wonderful news: his past professor and now colleague at Northwestern, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry that morning along with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L. Feringa for their work in creating "molecular machines." Dichtel was a postdoctoral student of Fraser Stoddart's when he was a student at UCLA and played a part in the research celebrated today. In honor of Stoddart's recognition, he shared more about his groundbreaking work with the class.
Dichtel was joined by several members of his North Cross class in the audience (see photo in slide show above) who came out to recognize his award. The last time he took the Fishburn stage was for his senior speech, so it was about time. But in all seriousness, perhaps most meaningful, Dr. Dichtel closed his presentation by noting how his North Cross teachers were his "first mentors," specifically his chemistry teacher, Jerry Maycock, and how North Cross "taught me how to put myself out there." He felt that at North Cross, "the goal was to develop complete people and give them the tools to go forward." He ended by saying: "What I wish for all of you, is that you're having the same experience." Certainly, being given the opportunity to hear from revolutionary researchers such as Dichtel puts our Upper Schoolers on the right path toward achieving that goal. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and passion that Dr. Dichtel put into his time here with our students.