Eric Whetmore says Friends University is true to its name.
“I was originally attracted to Friends because of its small, intimate campus and some of its unique science offerings,” Whetmore said. “People were very friendly, inviting and genuine, like the rest of the Midwest.
“I love that the University is called Friends, because that’s exactly how I describe what I liked about my experience. I made great friends – both with people in the dorms and classes, as well as professors. People care about learning at Friends, but they also care about your well-being and how you are getting along day-to-day, outside of classes.”
Whetmore, a 2009 chemistry and biology graduate from Friends University, made more than friends at the University. He also found a niche in creating some complex chemical compounds – including a major research project, where he synthesized chloroquine, the drug most commonly used to treat malaria.
He has taken that experience and knowledge to the University of Iowa, where he is his working toward his Ph.D. in organic chemistry.
“My research focus is organometallic chemistry: using metals like rhodium, rhenium and iridium to catalyze organic syntheses,” Whetmore said.
One of Eric’s most cherished memories at Friends University was his participation as an officer in the Theta Phi Drama Club.
“One year we won the Homecoming float contest with a Greek theme,” Whetmore said. “We had great costumes and a float, but secretly I think it was because everyone brought their cute dogs to ride in the float with us.”
Whetmore also cherishes the memory of meeting his fiancé, Jaime Main, in Green Residence Hall during his freshman year.
“Three years later, I asked her to marry me on the beautiful campus. That was one dreamy night.”
Other treasured Friends University memories include debating philosophy with Dr. Marv Hinten, professor of English, performing in “All’s Well That Ends Well” and enjoying warm fall nights on campus.
“Much of my undergraduate education was not what I learned, but obtaining the skill of learning on one's own. Similarly, I learned to be a more responsible, disciplined adult. Critical thinking and time management were two other important key gains,” Whetmore said.