Dr. Lucy Cline Weiss '72

Head shot of Dr. Lucy Cline Weiss

Dr. Lucy Cline Weiss, was born and raised in Salem, Virginia and the eldest of three  children. Her father worked for Veterans Affairs in hospital administration and her mother was a medical secretary at the VA. Lucy went to Andrew Lewis High School and was a member of A Cappella Choir and clubs such as the Keyette Club and the Latin Club. She  was also active at the College Lutheran Church as a member of the youth choir, and the  local Girl Scout Troup that met there.

Lucy applied and was accepted at two pharmacy schools and two liberal arts colleges;  Roanoke College and the College of William & Mary. Roanoke's Lutheran church affiliation and a substantial scholarship offer landed her on the campus at the tender age  of 16.

Lucy received her BS in Chemistry from Roanoke College and graduated in 1972 as Valedictorian of her class. At Roanoke, she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority,  Cardinal Key, Phi Society, American Chemical Society, Junior and Senior Scholar. Her  mother, Mrs. Mary Cline and brother, Marvin Cline also attended Roanoke College.

After graduating from Roanoke College, Lucy obtained her graduate degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of Virginia. She married a fellow graduate student, Richard Weiss, in 1974. The Weisses both completed their postdoctoral research at Iowa State University - Rick in Phosphorus Chemistry and Lucy in Biophysical Chemistry.

Soon after completing her postdoctoral research, Lucy decided to take a position as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Carleton College. After some soul searching, she decided to pursue a profession in industry and began a career at 3M as a Patent Liaison in the Pressure Sensor Adhesive Technology and Product Division.

As a Patent Liaison, 3M invested in her to attend law school. Lucy worked almost full-time in 3M's legal department during the day and took law classes at night. Her third degree enabled Weiss to become a Patent Attorney. She had unusual qualifications in regard to having degrees in both graduate level chemistry and law. Her graduate level scientific background allowed her to deeply understand 3M's products and processes, and her skill as a Patent Attorney allowed her to secure thousands of legally-effective 3M patents.

3M sent the Weisses to Belgium where they lived and worked for four years before the head of 3M's Office of Intellectual Property Counsel asked her to return to St. Paul and oversee the 3M corporate laboratory that produces what can be referred to as 3M's "seed corn" - the most basic research that spawns thousands of new materials and processes for use in future 3M products.

Throughout Lucy's successful 26-year career at 3M, she never stopped thinking about Roanoke College and the impact it had on her. Lucy has served Roanoke College well. Her passion, dedication, sacrifice, leadership and aspiration for perfection embody the strength and wisdom that hold the Roanoke College pillars in place. Roanoke College is proud to present the 2014 Medalist Award to Dr. Lucy Cline Weiss.

Lucy Cline Weiss received the Roanoke College Medal in 2014.