HOUSTON, Dec. 12, 2011 – The board of directors of The Welch Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest sources of private funding for basic research in chemistry, has elected Wilhelmina E. (Beth) Robertson chair. She succeeds Ernest H. Cockrell, who will continue to serve as a director.
“The Welch Foundation has been a driving force behind excellence in chemistry for more than a half century,” Robertson said. “I am honored to lead its mission to advance chemistry and improve life. The Foundation’s focus on the basic research that opens new doors to knowledge has been unremitting and has helped create a vigorous scientific community across the state.”
Robertson, who has served on the Welch board since 2004, is president of two real estate companies, Cockspur, Inc., Houston, and Westview Development, Inc., Austin, and is chair, board of managers for Living Spaces Furniture LLC. Robertson also serves on the advisory board of Amegy Bank of Texas.
Active in civic life, Robertson previously chaired the Board of Regents for the University of Houston System, is board chair for The Cullen Trust for Health Care, a trustee of The Cullen Foundation, and was a founding board member of the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Her volunteer work also spans leadership positions with The University of Texas Health Science Center, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, Houston Wilderness and the Harris County Healthcare Alliance
Her contributions have been recognized with multiple honors and awards, including the UH President’s Medallion, Outstanding Community Volunteer Fundraiser, UH Alumni President’s Award, and being named first YWCA Carol Sterling Masterson Woman of the Year, among others.
A Houston native, Robertson holds a bachelor’s degree in the Classics from The University of Texas at Austin.
The Welch Foundation advances science through research and departmental grants, funding of endowed chairs, an annual chemical conference and support for other chemistry-related programs. The Foundation annually bestows both the Welch Award in Chemistry, honoring achievement in basic research internationally, and the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research to recognize the accomplishments of “rising star” chemical scientists in Texas. Since its founding in 1954, Welch has contributed more than $684 million as part of its mission to support the basic chemical research that improves life.
For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.welch1.org.