University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Go to chemistry home page.


Bonnema receives President's Award for Outstanding Service

Stanley Bonnema receives his 2012 President's Award for Outstanding Service at the University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting, Thursday, May 10, 2012. Pictured is his son Matt (left), daughter-in-law and granddaughters, and wife Gloria (right). Photo: Chuck Tomlinson.

Stanley Bonnema, retired Department of Chemistry senior administrative director, has been honored with a 2012 President's Award for Outstanding Service. This prestigious award honors current and retired employees who have gone well beyond their regular duties and who have demonstrated unusual commitment to the university community.

With 39 years of outstanding and dedicated service to the department, college, and university, Bonnema has done just that. He served as the senior administrative director for the Department of Chemistry for 31 years before his retirement in June 2009. Before that, he was senior lab service coordinator and chemistry laboratory supervisor for eight years.

"Your excellence is a model for your colleagues and co-workers to emulate," wrote President Eric Kaler in his award-announcement letter to Bonnema.

During his tenure with the Department of Chemistry, Bonnema was in charge of every aspect of running the department, ranging from ensuring that the physical facilities were fully operational to overseeing the large staff and managing the budget. He did this with kindness, humility, dedication and calm, with a can-do attitude, and with methodical attention to detail. It seemed that no matter what the issue, the response was, "talk to Stan, he'll take care of it," and he did.

Bonnema provided logistical oversight of the major, multi-year, multi-million dollar renovations of Smith Hall and Kolthoff Hall. He also managed the transition to the university's Enterprise Financial System (EFS) during a time of transition within the department's accounting office.

"Through his extraordinary service to the Department of Chemistry, . . . Stan contributed to the strength and development of the research and teaching missions of the university in ways that go beyond the expectations of any employee," said William Tolman, chair of the Department of Chemistry.

In the midst of his tremendous responsibilities in running the department, Bonnema also demonstrated deep caring for people, listening to their concerns, helping them wrestle through issues, and celebrating their accomplishments and service, note both Professors Wayne Gladfelter and Jeffrey Roberts in their award-nomination letters. Both served as chairs of the department during Bonnema's tenure.

"His dedication to the Department of Chemistry was boundless; his loyalty to the University of Minnesota was without measure; and his commitment to the people he worked with—both those he supervised and those to whom he reported—was unwavering," wrote Roberts.

Bonnema's caring extended beyond the university and into the community, and included tutoring at-risk high school students in reading, English, and science as part of South Minneapolis' Homework and Hoops program.

Bonnema will receive his award at the Board of Regents' meeting scheduled for 3:45 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at the McNamara Alumni Center.