Louis Fenaux

Rememberances of Louis Fenaux

by Russell Bessette

The Louis E. F. Fenaux Award has been given out for many years now to an outstanding junior or senior chemistry major who best typifies the qualities promoted by Professor Fenaux who passed away in 1982. Just what were these qualities?

Professor Fenaux received his M.S. degree in 1940 from Boston College and concentrated in Analytical Chemistry. His academic roots date back to the New Bedford Institute of Technology (NBIT) in the late 1940's. NBIT was merged with Bradford-Durfee College of Technology in Fall River in 1964 into Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute (SMTI). In June 1969, SMTI became Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU). In 1991, SMU became part of the Massachusetts university system and was renamed the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Faculty research was not emphasized before the formation of SMTI. Throughout the years, Professor Fenaux was a kind, caring and cooperative faculty member. At the small NBIT, in addition to his teaching duties, he helped run the library. He collected tickets at the annual prom, at other dances, and at basketball games. He was also an advisor for the Delta Kappa Phi fraternity. He was a modern day "Job." He had a false eye. He had a raspy voice as a result of a chlorine gas accident in the lab and in his later years, he had problems maintaining his balance. Through it all, he persevered!

In the 1980's, the Chemistry Department stockroom manager, Raymond Richard, and the Athletic Director at the time, James Flanagan, started the annual Louis Fenaux 5K Road Race. The proceeds from those races have funded the Louis E. F. Fenaux Award to this day.

So, the recipient should be someone who has demonstrated kindness, compassion, cooperativeness and perseverance.