Ethel Gene Kahmer Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Natural Sciences
Gene was a unique and independent woman, both a stay-at-home mom and a trophy-winning auto racer.
The Ethel Gene Kahmer Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Natural Sciences was created in November 2010 by Kristina E. Hill, who received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin in 1972. The endowment honors her late mother, Ms. Gene Kahmer, who raised her daughter to value education and independent thinking, which was ingrained in her at an early age.
“My mother was instrumental in fostering my education,” Kristina said. “The most fitting way that I can honor my mother is to ensure that individuals in the future will have the opportunity to learn and excel at their chosen career without a huge financial burden when they finish their studies.”
Gene was a unique and independent woman, both a stay-at-home mom and a trophy-winning auto racer. With her love for sports cars, she joined a racing club and entered auto rallies, where both she and Kristina picked up trophies for their expertise, navigation and speed. Also the chairman of the motor service division of the Houston Red Cross, Gene was a volunteer driver, devoting a day or two per week to making emergency calls and driving needy children and the elderly to doctor’s appointments.
During World War II, while traveling independently from Omaha to Panama to Alaska, Gene met Carl Kahmer, Kristina’s father, who is also an endowment honoree, namesake of the Carl Robert Kahmer Endowed Scholarship in Chemical Engineering. They had three daughters, raised to think for themselves and build a solid foundation set in education.
The Ethel Gene Kahmer Endowed Presidential Fellowship will benefit graduate students in the College of Natural Sciences who have demonstrated leadership and shown interest in a career involving mathematics, physics, or chemistry, with first priority being given to women in these fields.