On October 9, 2004 the department held a Centennial Celebration. Department Chair, Wayne Gladfelter gave the historical presentation. Click here to view the presentation. For the text to this presentation click here.
The University of Minnesota was created but it wasn't until 1867 that official classes started (at a prepatory level.) In 1869, the University proper was established.
Edward Twining, M.A., who was an instructor in natural science in the prepatory department from 1867 to 1869 was the first professor of chemistry which he held until 1872.
The Chemsitry Department occupied 5 rooms of the north wing of the Agriculture Building. In 1888 the building burned down.
School of Analytical & Applied Chemistry was established as a subsidiary to College of SLA.
Nicholson Hall was built and housed Physics and Chemistry until 1902 when teh entire building was given to the Chemistry.
The School of Chemistry was organized and a single course in Analytical Chemistry was offered. The school was affiliated with the College of Science, Liturature and the Arts.
May 17, 1904, the School of Chemistry reorganized as an individual unit. George B. Frankforter, Professor of Chemistry from 1893 to 1926, was made Dean until 1917.
  1910 Research was given an impetus when joint national meetings of the ACS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science was held at the university.
  1913 Smith Hall was built and the School of Chemistry was firmly established as an individual college. Chemistry courses required in other colleges were now taught by the faculty in the SOC.

President Burton advocates the creation of the Institute of Technology consisting of the College of Engineering and Architecture and the School of Chemistry which would be under one dean, Lauder W. Jones, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota from 1918 to 1920.

The Institute of Technology was established. It included the College of Engineering and Architecture, the School of Chemistry and the School of Mines and Metallurgy. Samuel C. Lind, Professor of Chemistry from 1926 to 1949, was the first Dean.
The School of Chemistry was reorganized with two departments; the Department of Chemistry (Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical) and the Department of Chemical Engineering.
  "The Story Of Chemistry At Minnesota" by Lilian Cohen, Professor of Chemistry
    This document was believed to be written by Prof. Lillian Cohen around 1935. This is a beautifully written piece which covers the historical development of chemistry at the University. It is broken down into four periods: (1) The Early Development (2) Foundation and Expansion (3) War Period and Reorganization (4) Post War Period. Every copy that has been found of this document is missing one page (pg. 40) but it does not distract from the quality of the story.
  "History of the Department of Chemistry" unknown author
    48 pages that documents "chemistry" at the U of MN in the late 1920's.
  "The School of Chemistry 1945-1946" by The Beta Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma
    A summary of all the divisions in chemistry and the faculty of 1945-1946.
  "The Early Days" Some Early History of the Department of Chemistry by Walter M. Lauer, March 3, 1976
    This essay was written by Walter Lauer eight months or so before his death. The essay is a rememberance of his early years at Minnesota.
  "1897 Announcement " Select pages from an announcement regarding the School of Technical and Applied Chemistry. Contains course of study and courses offered in chemistry at the time.
  "Degrees Awarded " Number of degrees awarded from 1897-1937
  "1926 Bulletin" Select pages rom the 1926 Bulletin. Contains photos and courses offered.
  "Dedication of Kolthoff and Smith Halls" June 2, 1972
    "The Changing Shape of Chemistry" by Prof. Max Tishler (pages 1-7)
    "Izaak Maurits Kolthoff" by Prof. David N. Hume (pages 7-10)
    "Lee Irvin Smith" by Prof. Robert B. Carlin (pages 10-12)
    PDF files of the departmental newsletters beginning in 1971.
  Smith Hall Renovation
  490 Parties
  Minnesota Award

The Minnesota Award is the highest award given by the Minnesota section of the ACS. It was first presented in 1958. Past Recipients are:

  • 1958 - Lee I. Smith - University of Minnesota
  • 1960 - I.M. Kolthoff - University of Minnesota
  • 1962 - Fred A Bovey - 3M/Bell Telephone Laboratories
  • 1964 - Fred Smith - University of Minnesota
  • 1966 - Courtland L. Agre - Augsburg
  • 1968 - Bryce L. Crawford - University of Minnesota
  • 1970 - William E. Parham - University of Minnesota
  • 1980 - Robert Brasted - University of Minnesota
  • 1983 - Paul Gassman - University of Minnesota
  • 1987 - Julianne Prager - 3M
  • 1990 - Edward Leete - University of Minnesota
  • 1993 - Don Hagen - 3M
  • 1997 - Wayland E. Noland - University of Minnesota
  • 2000 - Richard Newmark - 3M
  • 2003 -
  Which buildings on campus were named after chemists?
  • Smith Hall, known for many years as the "old" Chemistry Building.
    Built in 1913 and originally dedicated May 24, 1915. It wasn't until June of 1971 that the faculty voted to rename it after Lee I. Smith (Chief of the Organic Division until his retirement in 1960.) Numerous renovations have taken place. By 1922 the upper floor and the fourth quarter of the building completed the building in the way it is known today. In 1965 a Greenhouse was installed for Dr. Leete's research. A three year renovation, finishing in 1987, added air conditioning to the building.
  • Kolthoff Hall
    Completed in 1971, it was dedicated along with Smith Hall on June 2, 1972. It was named after Izaak Maurtis Kolthoff, Analytical Divsion Head from 1930 to 1962.
  • Lind Hall, known for many years as the Main Engineering Building
    Built in 1912, it wasn't renamed Lind Hall until 1975 after Samuel Colville Lind, the first Dean of the Institute of Technology in 1935.
  • Admundson Hall, originally know as the Chemical Engineering Building
    Built in 1950, it was renamed during a ceremony May 17, 1979 after Neal Amundson, Cullen Professor at the University of Houston and Regents' Professor of Chemical Engineering (1965-1977) at the University of Minnesota. He received his Bachelors of Chemical Engineering ('37), MS in Chemical Engineering ('41), and his Ph.D. in Mathematics ('45) all from the University of Minnesota. He was hired by the School of Chemistry as an Associate Professor in the Chemical Engineering Division in 1947. He later went on to serve as Dpetarment Head for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science for 25 years.
  • Nicholson Hall
    Built in 1890, it was first known as the Chemistry Building. It was remodelled in 1914 and served as the home of the Minnesota Union until 1940 when Coffman Memorial Union was completed. During the war years it was used by the navy, where thousands of sailors took their technical training. It was later remodeled for classrooms and on October 27, 1945 it was named Nicholson Hall after the University's first Dean of Student Affairs Edward E. Nicholson who first came to campus in 1895 as an instructor of Chemistry. After 46 years of service to the U he retired in 1941.



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