Written by Kaitlyn Alkass
Recently retired Professor of Chemistry Larry Eng-Wilmot, affectionately known as EW, joined the Rollins community in 1980. Throughout his career he has been honored with several awards including the Rollins’ Cornell Distinguished Service Award in 2006. He was also named “Most Dedicated” on Professor Appreciation Day in 2007 and elected as a distinguished member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in 2009.
Aside from his prolific academic career, service has always been important to Dr. Eng-Wilmot. He was previously involved with the Boy Scouts and Habitat for Humanity prior to his career at Rollins. Currently, Dr. Eng-Wilmot works closely with the Office of Community Engagement as a volunteer as the first Professor Emeritus Engagement Fellow with an emphasis on advising Rollins Relief.
“This is an innovative program—one that not many other institutions have in place, and in fact, one that many schools were interested in learning more about,” says Marissa Corrente, Assistant Director for the Office of Community Engagement. “Dr. Eng-Wilmot is amazing at facilitating and leading student organizations and it’s wonderful having him continue his work now that he has retired.”
Rollins Relief was founded in 2005, just after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Eng-Wilmot made the first trip to New Orleans, LA (NOLA) alongside 15 staff and students. Rollins Relief has been back to New Orleans multiple times since Katrina, teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and collaborating with the underserved of the community. January 2014 marked their 14th trip to New Orleans, fulfilling their mission to be active within the local community and respond quickly to disaster.
“Dr. Eng-Wilmot has been the advisor of Rollins Relief since the beginning and usually participates as a co-facilitator for the January Immersion to NOLA,” says Corrente. “He is fantastic with the students and is one of the best mentors I’ve ever met. He gets community engagement type work and knows how to help students think through some of the more systemic issues facing our communities.”
In addition to Rollins Relief, Dr. Eng-Wilmot is involved with the organization Making Lives Better (MLB), a student-led service philanthropy group that focuses on international education and medical outreach in the developing world. Established in September of 2009, MLB has made two three-week trips to Nepal, working alongside the community with health care and education resources.
Dr. Eng-Wilmot is an example for the Rollins community, demonstrating that one can always remain active in the commitment to both Rollins students and social change.