July 23, 2020
Professor emeritus, Paul Kropp, passed away on June 5, 2020, at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill after a brief illness. He was born on June 29, 1935, in Springfield, Ohio to Paul and Loretta Kropp.
Kropp was high school valedictorian, a maxima cum laude graduate of Notre Dame University, and, in 1960, earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Upon completing his postdoctoral training at Stanford University, Paul headed to Cincinnati, Ohio to begin his career as a Research Chemist at Proctor & Gamble.
In 1970, Kropp moved to the east coast to join the faculty at the Department of Chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill. Kropp and his research group’s (consisting of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars) research focus was in organic chemistry. Throughout his career, he contributed over 100 publications.
Kropp was a very well organized and fastidious individual. His dedication and commitment to teaching was evident. He is the recipient of the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Johnson Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Edward Kidder Graham Outstanding Faculty Award.
Kropp taught chemistry at UNC-CH for 46 years. He was an inspiration, mentor, and friend to his students and colleagues,
“I remember Dr. Kropp. He was a fantastic teacher for CHEM 62. He was one of the nicest professors I met at UNC. I respected, admired, and genuinely liked him,” said Michelle Rider.
“Paul Kropp was a colleague who genuinely loved and cared for people, especially his students. The way he interacted with students both in class and, especially, out of class was unique and a product of his deep faith-born desire to show Christ’s love to all.
As a friend and colleague, he treated me the same way on a daily basis. I will miss him greatly,” said Todd Austell, Teaching Professor and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Kropp retired from the department in 2006. Since retirement, Kropp remained an active member of the department by regularly attending faculty meetings and continued to teach Chemistry courses when the need arose.
A memorial service will be held at Newman Catholic Student Center at a later date, as followed by coronavirus guidelines.