After retiring from teaching at MIT, Schrock looks toward “the next experiment,” remaining research-active while pursuing new endeavors.
Nobel laureate, Killian lecturer, and F.G. Keyes Professor Richard Royce Schrock recently announced his retirement from teaching and will officially transition to emeritus status within the Department of Chemistry on Sept. 1.
“I look forward to a period in my life with fewer deadlines, which is the point of retirement,” said Schrock. “However, it is difficult to imagine the next few years without the challenges and joys of fundamental research, which I have enjoyed throughout my career.”
Schrock intends to remain research-active at MIT and will continue to maintain his laboratory and mentor a research group in Cambridge, while simultaneously taking advantage of the spare time that retiring from teaching allows.
“I have had the good fortune to have been part of the discovery and development of an area of research that has spanned 50 years; that growth continues, even at a fundamental level,” he says. “Recently, my group made some potentially important discoveries so I hope to support a few postdoctoral students to complete these studies.”
Schrock also intends to use his retirement to contribute to chemistry as a whole. Part of that plan involves spending winters at the University of California at Riverside, his undergraduate alma mater. His appointment to the inaugural George K. Helmkamp Founder’s Chair in Chemistry will afford him the opportunity to meet with Riverside faculty and students while enjoying warm winters near his family in Long Beach. Schrock will continue to call Winchester, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Nancy live, home surrounded by their friends and hobbies. “Our home includes a bookbinding studio for Nancy, a woodworking shop for me, and a garden and kitchen for both of us,” Schrock says.
As for his retirement “to-do list,” Schrock remains open. “I do not have a so-called ‘bucket list’ of travel goals, but I intend to enjoy traveling to see family — including my youngest son and his family in Atlanta — and friends, as opportunities arise,” he says. “Much of the future is part of the experiment of life, and involves making choices that I cannot predict.”