Oxford resident inducted into Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

John Eicher Hall of Fame
John Eicher at Miami University. Click here to read more about John and the other Hall of Fame 2016 Class

Congratulations to John Eicher of Oxford for his induction by the Ohio Department of Aging into the 2016 Class of Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

John along with nine other outstanding individuals will be joining more than 400 individuals who have been inducted into the hall of fame since 1978. An induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium.

Ohio's Senior Citizens Hall of Fame honors and recognizes individuals age 60 and older who are native-born Ohioans or who have been Ohio residents for at least 10 years who are active, productive and lead purposeful lives in their communities. Nominations are evaluated on the impact of current contributions or a continuation of work and accomplishments.

More about John…

John Eicher leads a double life. At Miami University you will find him either behind a student's desk or in front of the class. He has taught college courses for more than 75 years and still enjoys being a student. This Professor Emeritus has not only shaped countless minds in the field of organic chemistry, but also has experienced and contributed to some of the most significant events in world history.

John earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1942, where he taught his first course in Industrial Mineralogy in 1940. He returned home and to The Ohio State University, where he assisted in the preparation of various hydrocarbons including one used as a fuel for British Royal Air Force Spitfire fighter planes during WW II.

John began working as a professor in the chemistry department at Miami University. He helped design the Hughes Laboratories and was instrumental in establishing the chemistry department's doctoral program. His colleagues considered him the resident historian in the chemistry department. He watched Miami and Oxford grow and change during pivotal times in the United States. He remembers when the Kent State shootings happened in May, 1970 and recalls, "It was the only time I ever remember the university president shutting down the school."

John formally retired from Miami University in 1989, after 37 years of teaching. However, he continues to teach in Miami's Institute for Learning in Retirement, exploring such subjects as mineralogy, biology, "kitchen chemistry," and U.S. and world history. Since 2002, John has taught 25 classes and has been a student in many more. John never stops being curious, never stops exploring - never stops learning.

John hall of fame 2016
"The classroom is just sort of my place," John said. "It's fun to be in class to talk to other people and teach things that they are interested in."


John and his wife Susan raised two children, Nancy and David. Susan passed away in 1983, but John still lives in the home they built together. Both of their children are Miami University alumni, and his only grandson Christopher is attending the University of Wisconsin. In 2008, John toured Europe for the first time on a WWII trip with David and Christopher to France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Poland and Great Britain.

John said his secret to living "Well Beyond 60" is heredity and his addiction to chocolate which, he points out, contains cinnamic, truxillic and truxinic acids. His mother and grandparents lived into their 90s. Perpetual teaching and learning is also part of his longevity formula. John feels he still has more history in him to teach and share, and even more history to create.

Source: Ohio Department of Aging