UT Remembers: Howard Rase and Robert Schechter

In honor of the UT Remembers annual memorial program, the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering would like to reflect upon contributions made by two inspiring former professors we lost last year: Dr. Howard Rase and Dr. Robert Schechter.

Instead of focusing on their engineering achievements, which many of you are familiar with, the department has collated comments and memories from former students and colleagues to give a personal glimpse into the impact these great educators made.

Howard F. Rase (October 18, 1921 – May 6, 2014)

Dr. Rase, a devBlack an white photo of Dr.Rase wearing a button down collard shirt , tie and blazer.oted faculty member and professor emeritus in our department for more than 50 years, was known for his dry sense of humor and “sharp” dressing sense—which usually included a fedora hat. He served as department chair and graduate advisor, and was known for taking extra time to offer students practical advice on day-to-day issues. He received several teaching awards, organized degree programs, and started a tutorial program. Providing further support for students, he established the Rase Brothers Award which gives a $2,000 award for the graduating senior with the highest GPA.  An advocate for physical fitness, up until the last couple of years of his life, Dr. Rase would still head to campus to walk the UT RecSports Center track.  His dedication to the university and more importantly to students will be greatly missed.
Robert S. Schechter (February 26, 1929 – October 8, 2014)

black and white photo of Dr. Schechter waeing a white button down collar shirt, black tie and a dark blazer.First and foremost, Dr. Schechter was a teacher. Throughout his 41 years on the Forty Acres, he taught more than a hundred graduate and undergraduate classes. His skill earned him many teaching awards and he later helped establish the Schechter-Wissler-Stice Teaching Award to encourage teaching excellence in the department. He was knows as a prolific and creative scholar who enhanced the intelligence of those around him. A strong leader, he had the reputation for being fair and gracious – he treated everyone equally. He emanated a collaborative spirit and freely shared his research and ideas with colleagues and continued to assist them in developing proposals for research and grants until shortly before his death. An avid squash player, he too used to be a regular at the UT RecSports Center. Dr. Schechter’s wit and passion for teaching will also be greatly missed.

The impact these individuals had on so many people’s lives is immeasurable. The department is truly grateful and proud to call them our own. To honor them, consider making a gift online to either the Howard Rase Endowed Scholarship or the Robert Schechter Endowed Excellence Fund in Chemical Engineering, or contact Michael Barasch at michael.barasch@austin.utexas.edu or by phone at (512) 471-0469.

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