Millikin University has received a gift of nearly $1.65 million from the Dr. John A. Leighty Charitable Remainder Trust. The trust, which was funded by the late Dr. John A. Leighty in 1999, is designated in support of the university's natural sciences programs. This specific gift will provide ongoing financial support for essential research, instructional scientific instrumentation, performance learning enhancement needs within the division's departments, and a new endowed professorship in the natural sciences and mathematics division.
Dr. Leighty, a 1931 Millikin graduate, earned his master's degree and doctorate from Purdue University. During his 33-year career at Eli Lilly and Company, he was a member of the team that first produced penicillin for the company in the 1940s; he was also involved in development and production of the antibiotics erythromycin and streptomycin and the analgesic Darvon. His career was capped by his tenure as executive director of scientific research, responsible for 650 scientists in seven research divisions. He retired from Lilly in 1969.
Dr. Leighty served on Millikin's board of trustees from 1967 through 1970 and, together with his late wife, the former Ula Davis '33, volunteered for and contributed to Millikin's fundraising campaigns. For their efforts, the two were named co-recipients of the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1971. During their lifetimes, the Leightys established Millikin's John and Ula Leighty Research Award in Biology. In 1992, Dr. Leighty established the John and Ula Leighty Science Scholars Program. He also made multiple gifts to the science center that now bears his name and served as honorary chair of the campaign to raise the funding needed to build the facility. Dr. Leighty also received Millikin's Presidential Leadership Award in 1995, and was inducted posthumously into the Millikin Medallion Society in 2001 after his death in 2000.