Beginning today, students at Linus Pauling Middle School will learn more about the scientist, researcher and peace activist for whom their school is named. The school is hosting its first “Lessons from Linus” assembly this afternoon to inform students about Linus Pauling’s life and legacy.
“I think if students know more about Linus Pauling, it would increase our school pride and spirit,” said eighth-grader Cole Hansen. “He overcame a lot and did a lot of great things.”
Pauling, an American chemist, is the only person to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes — for his research in chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962.
Pauling was a Portland native who graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). He died in 1994 at the age of 93. OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute continues his work and preserves his legacy.
Linus Pauling Middle School, 1111 Cleveland Ave., opened 10 years after Pauling’s death. It replaced the former Highland school building.
A display case devoted to Pauling and a large framed poster of the him are located in the school’s office. The auditorium is named after Pauling’s wife, Ava Helen. The devoted couple was married for 58 years, until her death in December 1981.
Principal Eric Beasley said the school plans to hold “Lessons from Linus” assemblies monthly throughout the school year. They are being organized by a student committee. During each assembly, students also will learn about qualities possessed by Pauling, starting with his perseverance.
Pauling overcame the death of his father when he was 14 and his mother’s mental illness to become one of the most distinguished scientists in American history.
Beasley said other Pauling traits that could be discussed during assemblies include courage, creativity and humility.
“The plan is to recognize students who display the previous month’s trait at each assembly,” Beasley said. “Then we’ll talk about new trait.”
And after learning more about Pauling, several students said that the late scientist is a good role model for students.
“I didn’t really know who he was before” said eighth grader Makayla Wanaus. “But now I know that he was more than just a scientist. He promoted peace and working together. That’s something all of us should be doing.”