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Humble Professor Gives Away All of His Nobel Prize Money to Students

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Unlike many high-profile celebrities, George Smith deserves to be well-known. The emeritus professor of biology, who teaches at the University of Missouri (MU), won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Perhaps even more notable, he is putting all of the prize money toward helping students afford higher education.

Smith won the Nobel prize in December of 2018 for his work in phage display, a process that allows scientists to easily screen and harvest molecules for attacking bacteria. According to The Kansas City Star, the method is now being utilized laboratories around the world.

For his achievement, the college professor was awarded $250,000 in prize money. GoodNewsNetwork reports that all of the money is going toward the Missouri Nobel Scholarship Fund for students to attend the state’s College of Arts and Sciences. MU is showing solidarity with the 77-year-old by donating an additional $300,000 toward the scholarship fund.

“This might surprise some people, but my first degree was actually a bachelor of arts, not a bachelor of science,” said Smith. “My liberal arts education was the springboard for a lifetime of learning and cultural engagement. [My wife] and I hope that supporting the liberal arts as a whole will enrich the lives of future MU students, whatever careers they choose.”

According to MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright, Smith is launching a new university tradition. For every faculty member who wins a Nobel prize, the school will donate another $100,000 toward the fund.

“Time and time again we have been overwhelmed by George’s incredibly humble attitude, and today we are amazed even further by his spirit of generosity,” Cartwright said in a statement. “Gifts such as these make it possible for more students to attend our university and have the experience of being taught by other world-class faculty.”

In addition to being generous, Smith is also humble. Reportedly, he bikes to work every day, because even a designated parking space is too much recognition. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

h/t The Kansas City Star

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