Air Products' Donation Advances AIChE’s LGBTQ+ & Allies Endowment

AIChE’s ongoing efforts to promote the full and equitable inclusion of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) chemical engineers in the profession have received a boost, thanks to a donation by Air Products.

Air Products, first corporate donor

The Allentown, PA-based Air Products became the first corporate donor to the AIChE Foundation’s recently established LGBTQ+ & Allies Endowment campaign, which seeks to raise $250K to underwrite a slate of activities aimed at advancing the inclusivity of the profession by amplifying the contributions of LGBTQ+ chemical engineers and their allies within the AIChE community. 

More on the LGBTQ+ & Allies endowment campaign

Since the endowment’s launch in 2018, donors to the campaign have subsidized community-building events at the Fall 2018 AIChE Annual Meeting, the creation of an LGBTQ+ discussion forum and online community, and the production of a video (shown above) — funded in part by Air Products — which features commentary by LGBTQ+ chemical engineers and allies, advocating for a more inclusive chemical engineering profession.

Future activities to be funded by the endowment include high-profile programming for LGBTQ+ engineers and allies at AIChE’s major meetings, receptions and workshops at the Annual Student Conference, and the development of webinars and other educational resources to help organizations of all sizes confront implicit biases and create safer and more inclusive workplace environments.  

A gift of purpose

Air Products’ gift to the LGBTQ+ & Allies endowment fund was arranged by Dr. Roger Whitley, a Distinguished Engineer at the company. In discussing Air Products’ commitment to inclusivity in the workforce, Whitley reflected on the notion that all organizations want to hire the best available talent, and that any engineer who is excluded from contributing represents an opportunity lost. “Diversity and inclusion are part of Air Products’ core corporate values,” Whitley added. “We appreciate having the support of AIChE through its projects like the LGBTQ+ initiatives, through which we can make the profession a welcoming place for everybody, so that everyone can contribute to advancing our projects and goals.”

Initial funding

The LGBTQ+ & Allies Endowment received its initial funding from individual donors, kicked-off by a major leadership gift from AIChE member Eric Reiner, a lecturer at the Univ. of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a retired managing director at UBS AG, a Swiss multinational investment bank.

Corporate and individual donors alike can learn how to support the AIChE Foundation’s LGBTQ+ & Allies Endowment campaign by visiting

Are you interested in joining the LGBTQ+ & Allies community? Please click here to fill out the interest form