Gift establishes endowed graduate fellowships in food safety and probiotics

The Food Research Institute (FRI) has received a generous donation from Robert and Carol Deibel to establish two endowed graduate fellowships, one in food safety and the other in probiotics. Robert Deibel, a former UW-Madison professor and longtime friend of FRI, and his wife, Carol, have committed a gift of $1 million to establish these endowed fellowships.

The gift will receive a “Nicholas Match,” which will double its value to $2 million. In 2015, the Nicholas family pledged to match new gifts toward fellowships at UW-Madison. The Deibel gift, together with the match from the Nicholas Foundation, will be used to fund the two graduate fellowships, which will be awarded by FRI.

Deibel joined the faculty in the UW-Madison Department of Bacteriology in 1966, with a cross appointment in FRI. He became a full professor in 1970 and served as department chairman for three years. He also mentored numerous graduate students in their pursuit of advanced degrees.

“Bob Deibel had an extraordinary career as a food microbiologist, both in academia and industry,” said Chuck Czuprynski, director of FRI. “He was a member of FRI while on the UW-Madison faculty, and continued his close relationship with FRI throughout his many years as a leader in the food industry. The exceptionally generous gift from Bob and Carol, together with the Nicholas Match, will enable UW-Madison to continue training the next generation of food safety experts who will protect and promote consumer health.”