Friday, November 19, 2021

The College of Engineering is sad to note the passing of alumnus, donor, and friend of the college, Warren Pagel. Warren graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in chemical engineering in 1953. As a student, he was active in Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society, and Phi Lambda Upsilon, a chemistry honor society, as well as in AIChE, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He would go on to have a long and successful 40-year career with 3M where he designed structural adhesives for airplane windows.

“Warren was a lifelong Hawkeye and a committed member of our engineering community,” said Harriet Nembhard, dean of the College of Engineering. “Although we never met in person, I know how much of an impact his giving has had for our faculty and for the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. We will miss his energy and enthusiasm, but his spirit will remain strong throughout our college.”

Warren came back for almost every College of Engineering Homecoming where he took part in festivities and enjoyed interacting with other alumni and current college faculty members. In addition to supporting a recent regional AIChE meeting held at the UI, his philanthropy was directed at support for early-career faculty members, and he made a particular connection with Gregory LeFevre, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering.

“Warren Pagel was a wonderful alumnus and supporter of the College of Engineering whose longitudinal support, both financially and morally, cannot be underestimated,” said LeFevre. “He personally supported my research on water quality and would send me newspaper clippings from environmental stories of interest. I was fortunate to meet Warren once during a Homecoming event a few years ago, where he told me about his career, his time at the UI and how it shaped him, and his love of the outdoors, which we have in common. I will always be grateful for his generosity.”

Warren was instrumental in the lives of his seven grandchildren, including Isaac Helmer who would also graduate from the UI with a degree in chemical engineering. Warren would often comment on how proud he was that one of his grandchildren not only came to the UI but also studied in the College of Engineering.

A fixture at fall collegiate events, Warren would often interact with Alec Scranton, the University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, who served as dean from 2012-2020.

“Warren Pagel was a dedicated father, an accomplished engineer, and a loyal alumnus of our college,” said Scranton. “He had a positive impact on our faculty, staff, and students though his kindness and generosity.”

Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. and a memorial service will follow at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at United Methodist Church in Hudson, WI. Private burial to take place in the spring in Tama, IA.

For more information on Warren’s life, a tribute can be found in the River Falls Journal.