Chemistry at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois

Foreword to the 1967 Centennial Brochure

Foreword

Herbert Carter and R.C. Fuson

(H. E. Carter, Former Head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering wrote this foreword to the 1967 centennial brochure. Portions of this brochure and later reviews of departmental history are included in this site)

Fifty years ago Professor Samuel Parr, who served on the staff of the department from 1891 to 1927, wrote the fifty-year history of the Department of Chemistry (published in the February 21, 1916, University of Illinois Bulletin). From this material we have excerpted appropriate sections which highlight the important features of the early development of the department.

Following Professor Parr's bulletin, the department has issued four historical brochures covering roughly a decade each (1917-1926, 1927-1941, 1941-1951, 1952-1962). The tremendous increases in size and complexity of the department in the second fifty years are recorded in these documents. The last three were prepared by Professor Virginia Bartow. All were published as bulletins of the department, and all contain a wealth of fascinating detail concerning staff, publications, degrees granted, physical facilities, and other items. It would be impossible to excerpt these documents. Instead, Professor Reynold C. Fuson, who has taken the leading role in the preparation of this centennial issue, has chosen to highlight the developments in terms of people - the staff and students who have been responsible for making the history of the department, whose unique role in chemical education is dramatically reflected by the fact that more Ph.D.'s were granted and more B.S. students went on to Ph.D.'s from this department than from any other in this country. The record shows that undergraduate and graduate education can flourish together in a very large department.

In the final section I have attempted to outline some of the basic changes in structure and operations brought about in the last decade by the sweeping developments in chemistry (and science generally) and the effects of the major role assumed by the federal government in provision of funds for the highly instrumented era of teaching and research in chemistry.

To all alumni and friends of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering - greetings. I hope that this centennial brochure will be informative and useful.

H. E. Carter, Former Head
Department of Chemistry
and Chemical Engineering