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USciences Receives $3.8 million Gift

By Brian Kirschner

University of the Sciences received a $3.8 million gift from the trust of alumnus Robert D. Spiers C’36, HonDSc’98, who passed away on Aug. 15, 2005, at the age of 90.

Spiers, a graduate of Philadelphia’s Central High School, received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from then Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now USciences) in 1936. He was later awarded an honorary doctorate in 1998 by his alma mater in recognition of his accomplishments. The trust, following the passing of his wife L.V.S. Spiers (who died in February 2014), was earmarked for USciences’ Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Spiers served in the U.S. Navy during World War II developing pesticides. He continued working with pesticides following his military service in 1945 and founded Dianol, Inc., a firm that produced an insecticide and made an anti-barnacle agent for the shipping industry. That firm was merged into Mills-Pearson Corp (1957) with Spiers as a member of the firm before accepting a position as general manager at Futuronics Co. In 1961, he organized and presided over General Components Company, a firm that produced printed circuit boards for NASA, Honeywell, General Electric, and others. During his career he received a patent for selective plating on circuit boards and would retire in 1978. 

In St. Petersburg, he had been president of Robert D. Spiers Laboratories, the Inter-American Trade and Industrial Council, and Trident Corporation. Spiers was honored and recognized by former Governor Claude Kirk with the Florida Appreciation Award, former President Gerald Ford with the Technical Achievement Award, and former Sheriff Don Genung who made him an honorary deputy. In addition, the United Fund honored him in 1966.

Categories: News, Feature Story, Alumni, Giving, Misher College, Department of Chemistry, Chemistry