Dennis Keith ’65: Bates prepared me well for a future in pharmaceutical research and development

After spending decades in chemistry labs, Dennis Keith credits his wife, Jo-Linda, with creating their formula for meaningful philanthropy.

“She thought that our respective undergraduate schools did well by us, and that we should give back in some way,” says Keith. “I began to really think about how well Bates prepared me for my future endeavors, particularly in my career in pharmaceutical research and development. For me, this meant finding out how I could help chemistry students on campus today.”

Photo of Dennis and Jo-Linda Keith in November 2018.
Dennis and Jo-Linda in November 2018.

During his time at Roche, and later, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Keith played important roles in developing drugs to combat the viral infection hepatitis C, and MRSA, the bacteria that causes staph infections. Today, both drugs are widely used by physicians to treat seriously ill patients.

Now retired, the Keiths have had ample time to reflect on their good fortune, and the people and places that helped them along their journey. Atop that list was Bates.

They decided to designate their Bates gift to creating an endowed fund to support students’ summer research in chemistry.

Keith notes, “We’ve supported two students so far, and have gotten to meet them, which was very gratifying. They seemed thankful for the opportunity, and we got to hear about what they’re working on for their summer research and their Bates experience in general.”

Including the Bates Fund in their philanthropy was also a priority for Dennis and Jo-Linda. The annual fund supports all aspects of the Bates experience, including student-faculty research, financial aid, athletics, and co-curricular activities.

Keith says he recognizes the tremendous impact Bates had on his professional journey, and the importance of supporting today’s Bates students. He hopes other alumni will do the same.  

“It feels good to know you’ve made a difference in a student’s educational career, and their future.”