Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Dr. John R. Holum, Has Died

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Dr. John R. Holum, professor emeritus of chemistry, passed away peacefully at age 94 on January 27, 2023.

In his more than 30 years as a faculty member at Augsburg, John embodied the best of Augsburg with his commitment to making chemistry engaging, accessible to all and exciting to learn. He was a prolific writer who published dozens of books and peer-reviewed papers, which inspired not only generations of students who read his chemistry textbooks, but also thousands of researchers and teachers around the world. One of his students – Peter Agre ‘70 – went on to win a Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

In recognition of his exceptional service to the Augsburg community, John was awarded the Spirit of Augsburg Award in 2018.

John came to Augsburg in 1957 with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and began to teach chemistry to nurses and pre-med students. He continued to work at Augsburg until his retirement in 1993, also teaching advanced organic chemistry and environmental chemistry, which students said should be required for all their classmates. He was known to be kind and generous as a professor, and was a man who lived a life of faith and service beyond the classroom.

At this time, his full obituary and information about memorial service are pending. When information is available, it will be published here (