Frederick W. Heyl, was born in New Haven in 1885. After graduating from high school and Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School in 1904, he briefly operated a New Haven pharmacy before returning to Yale to earn his Ph.D. in chemistry. In 1913, Heyl joined the Upjohn Company as its first chemist. He later became a vice president and the first Director of Research for the company contributing scientifically to some eighty research papers and patents while also teaching chemistry at Kalamazoo College. Dr. Heyl maintained a lifelong conviction in the importance of science and education. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by KalamazooCollege in 1937.
The first Heyl Scholarships were awarded in 1971 and until 2009, were available only to graduates of Kalamazoo Central or Loy Norrix High Schools. In March 2009, eligibility was expanded to include 2009 or later graduates of other high schools or home school programs who hold certificates of completion from the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center.