Dr. Michael Silver is the Dekker Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and was a member of the Hope faculty from 1983–2009. He is a native of New York, New York, and has the accent to prove it. He has two children, Aaron and Kelsey. His wife, Bonnie, is a 3rd grade teacher.

Michael is the co-author of one chemistry textbook (Introductory Chemistry with Benjamin Cummings, 2nd ed.) and is currently writing another. He has 21 research publications which include many student co-authors and has submitted two patent applications.

He has taught a number of classes at Hope, including:

  • Freshman Chemistry Lecture and Lab
  • Organic Chemistry Lab
  • Inorganic Chemistry Lecture and Lab
  • Organic Chemistry Lecture
  • Senior-level Synthesis, Structure, and Dynamics

He has received Hope College’s Provost’s Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching, and he is a co-founder of Hope College’s Teaching Enhancement Workshop for entering new faculty.

Over the years his research has been funded by The Research Corporation, The ACS Petroleum Research Fund, The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation (Teacher-Scholar Award and Scholar-Fellow Award), The National Science Foundation (successive three year NSF-RUI research grants exploring early-transition metal allyl complexes) and The Dow Corning Corporation. Dr. Silver is currently involved in an effort to commercialize his discoveries relating to a novel class of silicone surfactants developed in his lab.


  • Polymer research: novel silicone surfactants and vesicles
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Cosmetic chemistry


  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Northwestern University, 1982–1983
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 1982
  • M.S., Cornell University, 1979
  • Research Technician, Allied Chemical Corp., 1975–76
  • B.A., Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1975

Selected GRANTS

  • NSF-MRI, Purchase of a 300 MHz NMR Spectrometer, 2002
  • Dow Corning Corporation, Preparation of Cinnamate Functional Silicone Surfactants, 1999
  • Dow Corning Corporation, Purchase of a High Intensity UV Source, 1998
  • Dow Corning Corporation, Quinone Functional Polydimethylsiloxanes, 1997
  • Dow Corning Corporation, Photo-Deactivated Inhibitors for Pt Hydrosilation Catalysts, 1995–1996
  • NSF, Research Experiences for Undergraduates at Hope College, 1994–1997
  • Dreyfus Foundation, Support for a Postdoctoral Fellow, 1993–1995
  • NSF-RUI, High School Teacher in Summer Research, 1993
  • NSF-RUI, The Synthesis, Characterization, Dynamic Behavior and Reactivity of Early Transition-Metal Allyl Complexes, 1992–1993

Selected Publications

  • Introductory Chemistry: A Conceptual Focus, with S. Russo, Addison Wesley Longman, 2nd ed., 2001
  • “A Facile, High Yield Synthesis of ? and d-Hydroxyamides,” with N. Idle, M. Stephan and S. Taylor, Synthetic Communincations, 2001
  • “Spiro ?-Lactones via Aluminum Enolate-Spiroepoxide Openings,” with S.K. Taylor, N. Chmiel, Etrickson and J. Vyvyan, Synthesis, 1998
  • “A Schiff Base Derivative of Bis(acetylacetone)ethylenediamine with 2-Pyridinylethyl Side Chains,” with L. Nathan, Acta Crystallographica, C53, 1997
  • “The Preparation and Structure of the Mixed Alkali Metal Silanolate K4Li4(OSiMe3)x(OCMe3)8-x [8 x 5.7] and its Use as a Catalyst for the Polymerization of Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane,” with K.B. Renkema, R.J. Matthews, E.L. Lyszak, T.L. Bush, S.K. Hendges, R.N. Redding, F.W. Vance, S.A. Snow and J.C. Huffman, Inorganica Chimica Acta, 244, 1996
  • “Zirconium Compounds of Hexamethyldisiloxane. Synthesis and Structure of (h5-C5H5)2Zr(CH2SiMe2OSiMe3)2 and (h5-C5Me5)ZrCl2(h2-CH2SiMe2OSiMe3) and their Reactivity with Methylisonitrile,” with E.L. Lyszak, J.P. O’Brien, D.A. Kort, S.K. Hendges, R.N. Redding, T.L. Bush, M.S. Hermen, K.B. Renkema and J.C. Huffman, Organometallics, 12, 1993
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