Paul Haake College of Science and Engineering Scholarship
In 2013, the Paul Haake College of Science and Engineering Scholarship was established with the WSU Foundation. This scholarship encourages and supports scholars with an interest in a major in the College of Science and Engineering or; who have performed community service within their local and/or Winona communities truly affecting the lives of others. This scholarship is awarded for extraordinary endeavors and is generously supported by the Paul Haake family. In honor of Paul Haake’s generous gifts, Winona State University named the New Center Residence Hall in memory of Paul Haake. It is known as the Haake Hall.
Each first time recipient must be an incoming freshman enrolled full-time at WSU (minimum of 12 credits each semester).
Each recipient must have a declared major in the College of Science & Engineering.
Strong preference for recipients that have worked while in high school or will be working while in college.
Each recipient must have a record of community service.
Each recipient must submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher.
Background and Motivation:
Dr. Paul Haake was a noted research chemist and educator. He grew up in Winona and graduated from Winona High School and went on to college, medical school, and eventually graduate school in chemistry at Harvard. His doctoral research on hydrolysis and isotopic exchange involving esters of phosphoric acid was in the laboratory of Frank Westheimer. After postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, he started his faculty career at UCLA. In 1968 he was employed at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where he was a beloved teacher, colleague, and researcher for almost forty years. His research on the kinetics and mechanism of chemical reactions, particularly reactions of biochemically-interesting phosphorus compounds, resulted in one hundred scholarly articles and books, including “Hydrolysis and Exchange in Esters of Phosphoric Acid”, which has been cited 250 times since it was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. This was and is a seminal paper in phosphorus chemistry.
In 1986, Paul was a founding member and major force behind the formation of Wesleyan’s Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, which at the time was considered both controversial and forward looking. Colleagues recall that Paul contributed to the future success of MB&B by stressing the principle of academic freedom. Paul devoted much of his career to teaching and was very proud of the extremely popular series of courses he taught at Wesleyan for non-science majors including, “Molecular Basis of Social Problems”, “Biochemical Basis of Nutrition”, “Structure, Symbols, and Patterns”, “Origins of Modern Science”, and “Biochemistry Using A Case Study Approach.” In 1975, he was appointed by then Governor Grasso to Connecticut’s Nuclear Power Evaluation Council. The Council raised questions about the ability of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure the safety of nuclear power.
He was always grateful for the strong foundation in education that he received in Winona. In an effort to repay that debt he established a scholarship for scholar athletes at Winona State University. He also established an endowment to support a poetry prize competition at Winona Middle School and Winona High School.
Paul Haake never attended WSU but enjoyed visits back to his home town. During his summer visits he enjoyed the productions of the Great River Shakespeare Festival and the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. Winona State University was the primary beneficiary of his estate with a legacy gift of nearly $1.5 million for scholarships.