M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

Finding Aid for the
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
RECORDS, 1958-1979
(UA-624)

Finding aid includes an administrative history only.

For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518)-437-3935.

Administrative History Compiled by
Merida Friedman, History 499 Intern
November 15, 2004







M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: .25 cubic ft.

ACQUISITION: These records were deposited in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany.

ACCESS: Access to these records is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Administrative History

Scope and Content Note


Department of Chemistry
Administrative History

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Current Function:

Today the Department of Chemistry offers several degree programs such as: a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts, a Combined B.S. /M.S., Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy.[1] The undergraduate department program goal is “to provide students with a broad, fundamental knowledge of modern theoretical and experimental chemistry enabling graduates to embark immediately on professional careers in chemistry or to continue study at an advanced level toward higher degrees.”[2] This program of study boasts of over thirty classes the student can choose from, including the newly developed “Forensic Chemistry” program. The intent of the Graduate program is to train student to conceive and research a problem, develop experiments to solve the problem, present the results to a scholarly audience. The Graduate faculty areas of research include: materials science, bio-chemistry, organic synthesis, inorganic synthesis, biophysical chemistry, and medicinal chemistry. The Department is seeking collaborations with Biology and Physics and the School of Nanosciences and Nanoengineering.[3]

History:

The New York State Normal School at Albany New York was opened in December 1844. Merrit G. McKoon was the faculty member hired to teach Natural Philosophy and Chemistry. He taught from March 15, 1845 until June 9, 1845, resigning because an illness in his family.[4] During the summer of 1845 a Mr. Mather was hired to give 12 lectures in Chemistry,[5] possibly assisted by a student, William Clark. Clark was hired as a full time faculty member after he graduated, teaching Natural Science and Chemistry from October 15th 1845 until his resignation in 1851.[6] The first Chemistry course that was taught was in 1846 called “chemistry (with experimental lectures).”[7] The first textbook that was used was “Grays Chemistry.”[8] A succession of short term Chemistry faculty members taught during the nineteenth century.[9] The first woman to teach Chemistry in the Normal School was Miss. E. Helen Hannahs who taught from September 1889 until 1896 when she transferred to teach French.[10]

In 1890, when the school’s name was changed to the New York State Normal College, and the mission of the school was restricted to teaching Pedagogy (the Science of Teaching), the teaching of Chemistry, as opposed to how to teach Chemistry, was dropped. Students were expected to know Chemistry when they entered the Normal College. The curriculum was restricted to Pedagogy until 1906 when the Normal College became a four year undergraduate college for teachers.[11] At this time Chemistry was once again taught. By 1906, the school offered three Chemistry classes, which were: “general course in Chemistry,” “Qualitative Chemistry,” and “Organic Chemistry.”[12]

Following a devastating fire in January 1906, he Normal College was without a campus until September 1909, when the first three buildings on the downtown campus were completed. With the completion of the new campus and the expansion of the faculty and body the school for the first time developed a departmental structure. The first Department of Chemistry was first created in 1909 within the Natural Science Department.[13] The course offerings doubled and now included, “Advanced Inorganic Chemistry,” “Teaching Chemistry,” and “Manipulation of Chemical Apparatus.”[14] By 1914, the Normal College, renamed the New York State College for Teachers, allowed students to major and minor in Chemistry. To major students had to take twenty-four hours of Chemistry, and to minor in it they had to take eighteen hours.[15] In 1919 there were now seventeen Chemistry courses which included “Industrial and Applied Chemistry” which was taught from 1916-1943, “The Chemistry of Foods,” and “Advanced Organic and Color Chemistry.”[16]

Graduate Education in chemistry began in 1913. Two degrees were offered: a Master of Pedagogy or a Master of Arts in Education. Both degrees were preparatory to teaching in Normal schools, a career in school administration, or teaching in a secondary school department. The candidate had to take “15 points” in course work, one half to two thirds in education, and submit a thesis.[17] The first catalogued Chemistry Masters thesis was written by Margret Tymesom in 1915, titled “Spectrum Analysis of Nitrogen and its Components.”[18]

Tymeson graduated in 1915 with a Masters of Arts in Education.[19] The title of the degree changed to Master in Arts by May 1919.[20] Graduate level courses are first listed in the 1933-1934 Annual Catalogue. Thirty semester hours were now required for a Masters Degree.[21] A total of eight Graduate level courses were offered including quantative analysis, Organic Chemistry, food analysis, industrial and applied chemistry and the history of chemistry.[22]

In 1962 the school became a University Center. Emphasis was placed on developing graduate level programs. The Ph.D. in Chemistry was introduced in 1965.[23] The first Doctoral Dissertation was written in 1967 by Richard John Strunk, titled “Properties of some free radicals generated in the reduction of alkyl halides by organotin hydrides.”[24] The current objective of the doctoral program is to “develop an ability to conceive significant research problems, to design experiments for the successful investigation of these problems, and to communicate the results of these efforts to the scientific community.”[25]

In the 1980s and 1990s the department developed several other degree programs. The first combined BA/MS program was offered in 1983[26] and has continued until present time. This allows students to graduate in nine semesters with their Masters in Science in a shorter amount of time.[27] The first Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry was first offered in 1997.[28] The combined B.S./M.S., Master of Science time shortened 3-2 program degree program was first offered as a “special program” in 2000.[29] The 3-2 program allows students who are interested in engineering to study Chemistry at The University at Albany for their first three years. They can then choose from the following schools where to spend their next two years studying engineering: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, SUNY at New Paltz, and SUNY at Binghamton.[30]

Chairmen

Barnard Bronson, 1912-1939
Oscar E. Lanford, 1940-1953
Professor George W. Murphy, 1953-1957
Prof. Derk V. Tieszen, 1958-1960
Prof. Donald S. Allen, 1960-1963 on leave 1963-64
Prof. Henry G. Kuivila, 1966-1970
Tsoo E. King, 1971-1973
Robert E. Frost, 1973-1975
Antony F. Saturno, 1975-1977

Chair

Antony F. Saturno, 1977-1979
Harry L. Frisch, 1979-1980 interim
Lawrence C. Snyder, 1980-1983
Prof. Henry G. Kuivila, 1983-1985
Eric Block, 1985-1991
Frank Hauser, 1991-1997
John Welch, 1997-

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Notes

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1. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 2004-2005, researched November 16, 2004, http://www.albany.edu/chemistry/programs.html.
2. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 2004-2005
3. Department of Chemistry Profile, 2004-2005, researched November 12, 2004, http://www.albany.edu/chemistry/profile.html.
4. Fourth Quinquennial Register & Circular of The State Normal School, for the fifteen years ending July 14th 1859, p. 4.
5. State Normal School, Executive Committee Minutes, 1844-1868, p. 27.
6. Fourth Quinquennial Register & Circular of The State Normal School, for the fifteen years ending July 14th 1859, p. 4.
7. Annual Register & Circular of the State Normal School, for the year ending September 17th 1846.
8. Register & Circular of the State Normal School for 1846
9. State Normal School, Catalogue of the Graduates, for the thirty-eight years ending June 23, 1882, p. 5-10
10. State Normal School officers & Faculty of the Ninetieth term & Announcement for the Ninety-First Term, Commencing September 11th 1889, p. 2.
Circular of The New York State Normal College, 1896, p. 2
11. College of the Empire State, by William Marshall French and Florence Smith French, 1944, p. 129.
12. New York State Normal College, Circular & Announcement 1906-1907, p. 53
13. College of the Empire State, A Centennial History of the New York State College for Teachers at Albany, 1944, p. 159.
14. New York State Normal College, Circular & Announcement 1909-1910, p. 57-58.
15. New York State College for Teachers, Bulletin 1915-1916, p. 47-48.
16. New York State Normal College for Teachers, Annual Catalogue 1919-1920, p. 29-32.
17. New York State Normal College Albany NY, Circular and Announcement of Courses of Instruction, 1913-1914, p. 45.
18. Master’s Theses, a Bibliography 1914-1978, Compiled by Edward Oetting, p. 20.
19. Commencement Exercises, 1915
20. State Normal School, Executive Committee Minutes, 1910-1923, p. 862.
21. New York State College for Teachers, Annual Catalog, 1933-1934, p. 61.
22. New York State College for Teachers, Annual Catalog, 1933-1934, p. 43-44.
23. Alumni Quarterly, Spring 1965, p. 7.
24. Doctoral Dissertations, a Bibliography 1963-1978, Compiled by Edward Oetting, p. 45.
25. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 2004-2005, researched November 16, 2004, http://www.albany.edu/grad/department_chemistry.html.
26. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 1983-1984, p. 100.
27. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 2004-2005, researched November 16, 2004, http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/department_chemistry.html#general_information.
28. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 1997-1998, p. 77.
29. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 2000-2001, p. 80.
30. University at Albany, Undergraduate Bulletin 2004-2005, researched November 16, 2004, http://www.albany.edu/undergraduate_bulletin/department_chemistry.html#general_information.


Department of Chemistry
Scope and Content Note

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The collection includes memoranda, course descriptions, technical reports, syllabi, and proposals.


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Last updated August 21, 2007