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Home : Volume 24 : Fall 1997 :
Distinguished Service Award for Richard J. Schoofs

Richard J. Schoofs

Richard J. Schoofs
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An entrepreneurial spirit has been the fuel of Richard Schoofs' career. It helped him author or co-author 15 U.S. patents and found or co-found a number of new ventures. It is also why he has been the benefactor and driving force behind a growing entrepreneurship competition within the College of Engineering.

Schoofs received his BS in chemical engineering from UW-Madison in 1953. After serving as an officer and instructor in the Army's Chemical Corps School, he attended Yale University as a Dow Fellow, earning a master's degree in chemical engineering in 1959. He did graduate work at Holland's Delft Institute of Technology under a Fulbright grant.

Schoofs worked for a series of industry leaders including Shell, Monsanto and Union Carbide. In 1968 he formed R.J. Schoofs and Associates, a consulting company. He currently serves as chairman of Schoofs Incorporated, a company dedicated to marketing, distribution and applications development of chemical and related products.

Concerned that UW-Madison students need more exposure to the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, Schoofs inaugurated The Schoofs Prize for Creativity. This annual competition encourages undergraduates to create an original, patentable object or process while concurrently teaching them, through seminars, the steps to creating a new business venture.

Additionally, Schoofs served on the college's Industrial Liaison Council from 1990 to 1996. As chair of the ILC during the 1995-96 term, he initiated a luncheon symposium during council meetings at which undergraduates meet with the ILC members. These luncheons continue to be very popular. Schoofs has also been responsible for helping to form a closer relationship between the college and the business school.


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