SDSU Chemistry: Christmas Party 1948
Harry Truman was president, Al Gore and Ozzy Osbourne were born, and a gallon of gasoline cost about 16 cents. And the SDSU Department of Chemistry celebrated the Christmas season:
HALF A CENTURY OF CHEMISTRY AT SAN DIEGO STATE
Dudley H. Robinson
This is an informal history of the Chemistry Department at San Diego State.
The department has always been informal in relations between faculty and students and between faculty and administration. To write its history in any but an informal style would give a false impression of the attitudes and practices which have controlled development.
Much is written in the first person simply because I do not know how else to do it without involving stilted language and obtuse constructions. There is no intent to make this an autobiography but my association with the department has been so close and so prolonged that I cannot leave myself out of the discussion.
My first association with San Diego State was in the role of a student from February 1922 to June 1924. From September 1924 to June 1927 I attended Louisiana State University but came home to San Diego each summer and during the school years frequently corresponded with Dr. Pierce who headed the department at San Diego State. During 1927-28 I worked as a chemical engineer in San Diego and again frequently visited and sought advice from Dr. Pierce.In September 1928 I was appointed Instructor of Chemistry and have been a member of the faculty for 45 years.So, my association with the college has spanned more than a half a century -- hence the title to this essay.
DUDLEY H. ROBINSON
June 18, 1973
ONE GOLDEN DAY IN SUMMER
College teaching has kept me in touch with young people.Although I have reached retirement age I still have a great empathy for students and feel that I have an understanding of and a sympathy for their problems. These problems and present day customs are different than they were in the nineteen twenties. I teach in shirtsleeves, usually sans necktie.I listen to rock music and conversations supersaturated with the most inane of all interjections, "you know."Such listening is often without great interest or enthusiasm, but I do listen. So -- thinking back to what college students were like in the 1922 requires considerable wrenching of present mental attitudes.
Students are still interested in athletics but the intensity of interest and loyalty to the team has lessened, especially at the college level.Our present "Peterson Gym" was names after Charles E. Peterson, our first football coach. Charley had been physical director for the San Diego YMCA and became our coach when the local junior college was moved onto Normal School campus in 1921.He taught all the men's PE classes and coached baseball, basketball, track, and football.Students idolized him and gave him all their loyalty and energy.The football field was hard, bare ground, weed-grown and well covered with small pebbles.Charley induced the college president to declare a holiday to clean up the football field. For Charley and the prospect of a good football team, students were happy to give a day of physical labor in place of a day in the classroom.The girls prepared sandwiches, punch and cookies, and fellows all developed a few blisters from operating hoes, rakes, and shovels. This, plus Charley's coaching ability, paid off handsomely. San Diego Junior College won the 1922 Southern California Junior College Football Championship!
So, we had a good football team and a pretty good all around athletic program; but, in many ways the college still retained vestiges of genteel Victorianism.
I wore shirts which had detachable collars held in place by collar buttons.Dress customs had been liberalized to the extent that stiffly starched collars were not universally expected but we still wore them frequently. My pride and joy was a blue and white striped pure silk shirt. I worked evenings as doorman in a first run movie theater and while on duty wore a tuxedo with stiff shirt and all the trimmings.At college we all wore suits and never removed coats except to don a lab coat or apron.
About twice a month chairs were cleared out of one of the larger classrooms, which was dignified by the title "Auditorium," and we had an afternoon school dance.Festivities included about a dozen dances, each lasting as long as a couple of 2 1/2 minute phonograph records.The most popular man was the one who danced with greatest number of different girls. The most popular mode of dancing was described by our college president as "the mucilaginous glide."
Edward L. Hardy, our President, was a lovable gentleman whom everyone respected for his gentlemanly manner and humane dignity. His "mucilaginous glide" remark was a typical of his dry, sympathetic humor.
Irving Outcault, Professor of English was an old friend and confidant of Dr. Hardy.Professor Outcault later served for several years as Vice President of the college but at the time taught English Literature and a course in Poetry.The college paper, which was then called "The Paper Lantern," published a series of interviews in which various professors expressed their opinions of students who dozed in class.I remember that other professors considered Outcault a heretic for saying that he considered sleeping in his class a compliment to the lilting quality of the prose and poetry he read aloud.
We had a contest to select a new Alma Mater for the newly organized Junior College - Teachers College combination. Professor Outcault's winning entry began with the immortal lines:
"One golden day in summer
Came Junipero Sera
With all his pious brothers, lean and fat
- - -"
It went on through several versus describing how the padres established a college for "teaching other teachers how to teach." The poetry was good enough, the music was pleasant and, although the story was historically inaccurate, it was reasonably humorous.For those of us in the junior college who were hoping for scholastic and athletic recognition this fell a bit short of the Trojan fight song, or even "We're three little lambs." More than any other memory this fixed in my mind the general atmosphere of the college as a I first knew it. Perhaps it will help the reader to get the proper mood to appreciate later developments.
"One golden day in the summer" in 1928 I was offered the opportunity to teach at San Diego State. It seemed especially to be a golden day because the company for which I was working had just declared bankruptcy and I was out of a job. For one year I was to replaced a man who was taking a leave to complete his Ph.D.He never returned, and the one year has stretched to 45.
San Diego State Normal School was founded in 1899 and held its first classes in a downtown office building. By the 1901-02 school year it was well settled in its new building on the site of what is now the Education Center for the San Diego City Schools.Early catalogs of the Normal School include pictures of the building, pictures of rooms and equipment, and glowing descriptions of the modern facilities. The picture on the next page show how the building looked in 1922 when I arrived as a student. This main building faced south and the colonnades of the central portion gave it an attractive and dignified appearance.The total plant also included on the north two smaller buildings housing the boiler room and some shops of industrial arts, and a two story building which served as a training school -- a six grade elementary school for training prospective teachers.
The 1901-02 catalog includes a picture of the physics lab and a description of the physics course. Apparently the facilities matched those of a good high school lab of that era and the course gave prospective elementary teachers a reasonably good background in elementary physics.
Chemistry is taught in 1901. The catalog course description said, "The course extends through 20 weeks of 5 hours each. As in physics the subject will be studied through experiments performed in the laboratory by the students, - these experiments being made the basis for all classroom discussion." No description of the laboratory was given, but presumably physics and chemistry used the same lab.
In September 1921 the San Diego Junior College, which had been in operation of the San Diego High School campus, was combined with the State Normal School and moved to the Normal School campus. Reasonably well equipped labs for chemistry and physics were provided at the east end of the east wing of the main building .Physics labs were on first floor and the chemistry labs were on the second (top) floor. The largest chemistry lab with about 60 lockers was the freshman chemistry lab and a smaller lab with about 30 lockers served both organic chemistry and quantitative analysis courses.There were no upper division courses.There was a small storeroom between the labs and the Chemistry Department had an office near the labs.A small room on the first floor served as a combination balance room and chemistry library.In a partitioned off space in the basement men's room the bulk chemicals and spare equipment were stored.Lecture rooms on the lower floor were shared with other departments.
In 1931 the college (then called San Diego State College) moved to the present campus which provided expanded and well equipped quarters for the Chemistry Department.The building now called the Old Life Science Building was then called the Science Building and it housed the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Geography.On the north side of the lower floor there were two lecture rooms (now LS-284 and LS-271) some offices and biology labs.The Physics Department had two labs, a storeroom and two offices in the area now occupied by the Botany Department on the south side of the lower floor. The south side of the second floor was assigned to Geography, and the Chemistry occupied the north side of the second floor.
Chemistry facilities included two offices with small prep rooms, a large freshman lab, two medium size advances labs, a combination balance room and a chemistry library, and a fairly spacious, well equipped storeroom.The wing which now included rooms LS-389 to 391 did not exist then so that the large freshman lab included LS-383 plus the east west hallway outside LS-384-5.
LS-384-5 were the chemistry offices and the two advanced labs and the library-balance room filled the space now designated LS-376 to 379. The bridge to the new Life Science Building did not exist so the storeroom filled the space now designated LS-374A and 374B, plus the space of the hall which leads to the bridge.
During the next decade the college enrollment increased steadily and chemistry soon outgrew its quarters. We added some home-made wooden lockers along the north and east walls of the freshman lab and ran M-W and T-Th afternoon labs with 75 to 80 students in each of the two sections. Later we added a T-Th morning section. By 1936 I was lecturing to about 200 freshmen in one of the large lecture rooms in what is now the AS Building.
The Wing now occupied by LS-389 to 391 was built in 1940.Chemistry got the second floor and Biology the first floor.The necessary connecting hallway took part of the old freshmen lab but the new wing provided a fairly spacious new freshmen lab plus two offices with prep rooms. What was left of the old freshman lab became the organic lab and the other labs were used for Quant. and Physical Chemistry. I got the office in the north-east corner of the wing and kept that office until 1952 when an office in the present Physical Sciences Building was assigned as the office of the Division of the Physical Sciences.
Incidentally, my tiny office was shared from July 1946 to 1952 with our first secretary, Irene Janeck. At first she served as secretary for both the Physical Sciences and Life Sciences Divisions.There was no phone in the office but after some arguments with the administration we got one phone to serve everyone on the second floor; those in the Departments of Chemistry, Geography, and Geology.But, the phone was not in the Division Office.It was in a cabinet down the hall in a small cubbyhole originally intended to house a fire hose!We scrounged an old wooden desk and a chair, and a well-used typewriter, and the new secretary was in business.It took over two years to get a secretarial desk andchair and about the same time to get an office phone. Nearly 13 years later, after I had been single for over three years, I was fortunate enough to talk Irene into marrying me. She left her secretarial position in October 1958, but through social and official functions has continued associations with the staff.
When the new wing was added in 1940 the new freshman lab and offices were planned by the experts in Sacramento with little attention to suggestions from us.Each student had his own narrow "locker" which extended from bench top to floor and was mounted on rollers!The concept was that after a lab period the lockers for that section could be rolled out into the hall, or some convenient storage area, and be replaced by "lockers" belonging to another section.Apparently the Sacramento architects didn't consider the traffic problem or the glassware breakage which could result.At any rate, the plan never worked.After a couple of years the lockers were firmly bolted in place and spares were never purchased.
There was an unofficial agreement that the 1940 wing would be expanded to the north when justified by increased enrollment.This was the excuse for placing the offices off by themselves in the extreme northeast corner of the wing.The idea was that when the wing was expanded the offices would end up in a convenient location between two labs.This proposed expansion never took place.
The basement of the 1940 wing was first used for bulk storage and the south half was not completely excavated. After a couple of years money was provided to complete the excavation and cement the floor and side walls of the south half (which was below ground level).For a short time this space, now LS-197, was used by Dr. C. E. Smith as a lab for his newly organized class in photography.
Pearl Harbor Day came during Christmas vacation in 1942.Because of fear of a Japanese invasion of San Diego, army units were immediately stationed in strategic locations around town.One of these units took over the San Diego State Campus and the GI's slept on cots in our newly completed and almost empty basement. Unfortunately, we had a heavy rain, the new cement was not adequately water-proofed, and after a few days the cots were standing in about three inches of water.When no invasion materialized the GI's were moved out and the reopening of college after the Christmas vacation was not materially delayed.
During the World War ll I was the Navy for three and a half years.Events at the college during this time are outlined in another section of this report.
After the war the college enrollment increased very rapidly from the war-time low of about 1,000. Chemistry and the other physical sciences were under especially heavy pressure to expand facilities. Chemistry's first move was to convert the basement into a freshmen lab.We bought some war-surplus metal work benches from a local aircraft company and scrounged some money for temporary, but moderately efficient, plumbing and wiring. Our carpenters built locker under the benches and we were in business.We soon needed more lockers so we bought some storage racks and some metal baskets (about 1' x 1' x 2').Two lab sections used lockers under the benches.A third, and later a fourth, section stored their gear in the baskets which were padlocked into the racks in a partitioned-off storage area. The upstairs lab eventually became the Quant lab.
In 1940 the WPA built the lecture room now designated LS-113.Then we called it "S-101" and this was our home for large lecture sections (up to 200) for many years. It was also used for meetings of entire college faculty for several years.The statue of "Monty" stands in the quadrangle just outside the door of this lecture room.
A very large Quonset Hut was put up after the war on the west side of this quadrangle.Behind the big hut, to the west and north, about half a dozen smaller war-surplus building were assembled, some on concrete slabs, others had wooden floors. Some faculty members of the Physical Sciences Division were assigned to "gang offices" in some of these temporary buildings.The big hut was the home of the college bookstore for several years, and some of the smaller "temporaries" were used as labs and classrooms.
Our basement lab was never very satisfactory because of very poor ventilation and lighting.When it became overcrowded we obtained two double, pre-fabricated temporary building and put them in the space now occupied by the Botany Department's outdoor nursery.Each double building had two 24 station labs end to end with small storerooms between the labs. These four labs met our needs for freshmen labs for about a decade until the present Chemistry-Geology building was constructed.We had problems with ventilation, heating and plumbing, but overall were better off than we had been in the basement.We still had only one central storeroom upstairs in the old building, so we had a logistic problem in keeping the small storerooms stocked. Fortunately, money was provided for student assistants to man the small storerooms, provide liaison with the main storeroom and assist with laboratory supervision.
During the post-war period of rapid expansion, housing of faculty members became a serious problem. A few were assigned to offices in the temporary buildings behind the Bookstore, but this didn't help chemistry much more. Buildings were going up so rapidly all over the campus that a representative of the State Department of Architecture was assigned to San Diego State.He and two or three assistants, plus a large collection of blueprints, were housed in a little, white, temporary shacknorth and a bit west of the basement lab.He soon moved to a larger temporary building and the little white shack was assigned to chemistry.We squeezed in as many desks as possible and for several years "the shack" provided space for about six junior and part-time faculty members.
Finding homes for new faculty families also became a serious problem.During the war San Diego was so overcrowded that there was a serious housing shortage which persisted for several years after the war.The college, fortunately, made a deal with federal housing authorities in charge of two large federal housing projects.As war workers moved out of these temporary homes the college was allowed to assign them to new faculty members. Construction was flimsy - we called them cardboard houses - but the rent was so low and the housing shortage so acute that the availability of these units was a great help in recruiting new faculty. Bob Rowe and his family lived for several years in reasonable comfort in one of these houses. Lionel and Frances Joseph got one of these cardboard houses in the area where the Sports Arena is now located. They arrived a day ahead of their furniture with the prospect of sleeping on the floor of a unit which was cold, dirty, in need of paint, and without electricity. Frances said she sat in the middle of the living room and cried for hours.
In 1952 the Division of Physical Sciences Office was moved to PS-111, the present office of the Physical Science Department. This was part of a grandiose master plan for development of the campus to take care of an ultimate enrollment of 5000 students.Plans were made to build the present Physics-Astronomy Building, the wing now called the Old Industrial Arts Wing, the wing now called the Old Engineering Wing, and to expand chemistry facilities to the north and west. Division headquarters would then be strategically located in the center of these activities.The two wings were constructed but college enrollment exceeded 5000 even before these were completed.
When it became evident that 5000 was an unrealistic figure for ultimate enrollment a new master plan for campus development was adopted.With minor alterations this plan is still in effect.It need not be described here except as it affected the Chemistry Department.
The area originally designated for northward and westward expansion of chemistry was allotted to the Life Sciences and plans were prepared for the construction of the present Life Sciences Building. At the same time it was agreed that a new building would be constructed for chemistry and the rapidly expanding Geology Department.These plans were fulfilled when chemistry and geology moved into the present Chemistry-Geology Building in 1950 and the old Chemistry-Geology-Geography facilities were turned over to the Life Sciences Division.
There were some problems with the new building. The projection window in the booth in CG 302 was about eighteen inches too low so the booth had to be remodeled after acceptance by the state authorities (they had to accept it because it was built exactly as called for in the blueprints). Several basement rooms were left unfinished and extra money had to be found to finish and equip these rooms. In the freshman labs our bench design was ignored and resulting elevated plumbing and stand-up individuals hoods made lab discussions and supervision unnecessarily difficult.There were other discrepancies but the above are good examples. But, in overall design and equipment the building was recognized as one of the best in the country at the time for its size and type. Our foresight in planning a lot of smallauxiliary rooms gained us a lot of space we could not at the time justify by the formula relating teaching lab space and enrollment.This has paid off handsomely and the building has served us well for a dozen years.
The state was relatively generous in allowance for equipment so in 1960 we considered the building well equipped. The biggest white elephant was the enormous $40,000 emission spectrograph which was never been used very much. Because of developments in instrumental techniques it has been necessary to spend considerable sums for new equipment such as the mass spectrograph, the nmr spectrograph, etc. But this has paralleled the experience of other chemistry departments over the past fifteen years.
Currently we need more space. Fairly detailed specifications for a chemistry additions has been submitted periodically by the department during the last five years but construction money has not been included in the college budget.At the moment prospects seem bleak but we hope this is temporary and that conditions will change.
ARTHUR W. GREELEY is named in the Normal School catalog of 1899-1900 as teacher of Biology and Chemistry. His chemistry course was apparently a survey of the portions of elementary chemistry which would be useful in teaching at the grammar school level.This type of course was continued until 1921.
WILLIAM T. SKILLING was appointed in 1901 as teacher of Agriculture and Nature Study.He graduated from the State Normal School in Los Angeles, taught in the Los Angeles public schools for awhile and then went to the University of California where he earned B.S. and M.S. degrees. From 1901 to 1921 he taught Nature Study and various other science courses for the prospective elementary teachers.
When I came to the junior college as a student in 1922 Mr. Skilling was teaching the laboratory portion of the freshman chemistry course.It was a good course and he was a good teacher.Some of us thought he was absent-minded and that we could get away with dry--labbing an occasional experiment and leaving after roll call for an afternoon at the beach. But he fooled us and we found out too late that he knew exactly what we were doing.
Mr. Skilling rode between home and the college on what was called a Smith Motor Wheel.This was a small motor driven third wheel attached to a bicycle.The sight of Mr. Skilling put-puttingalong with hat pulled down tightly and coat tails flying in the breeze was always good for a laugh. One of our classmates rode a horse to college and staked him out during the day on the south lawn. I was one of the sophisticates who drove Model T Fords. Mine was purchased second-hand from the local dog catcher.
Mr. Skilling taught the freshman chemistry laboratory until 1925 when he began teaching his college course in Astronomy. Although he had taught elementary courses in most of the sciences, Astronomy was his first love. He became quite expert and wrote a college astronomy text which was quite popular and used widely throughout the U.S. He was a bit soft-hearted in grading and gave interesting lectures, so students liked him and his classes were always full.
The ability to devise make-shift demonstration devices was one of his outstanding characteristics. He hung a heavy steel ball on a wire from the root down to the first floor of the old building through a narrow air shaft. Although the swing motion was limited to about a foot, the principle of the Foucalt Pendulum was clearly demonstrated.Once each semester he would start the ball swinging and mark the line of travel with chalk early in the morning.Later in the day he would bring each of his classes traipsing down the hall to see the pendulum. Each student would stoop down and peer through a floor-level vent about 18 inches square to see how much the earth had turned.
When we moved to the new campus he had no place to hang the pendulum, so he used a different demonstration technique.A large metal wash tub was filled with water and he carefully floated on the surface a string of talcum powder in the north-south direction. As the earth turned, the direction of alignment of the line of talc changed. This didn't work too well due to convection currents and vibration caused, sometimes intentionally, by student traffic. But everyone enjoyed the show, especially the time Mr. Skilling absent-minding stepped into the tub.
The room now designated LS-271 was the lecture room in which I taught organic chemistry for many years. Most of the day, however, it was used as the astronomy lecture room and Mr. Skilling had it well decorated. There was a large wall-case of illuminated transparencies. Painted on the wall and ceiling were circles and an enormous ellipse labelled as representing the orbits of the planets and Haley's Comet.And, hanging from the ceiling was Mr. Skilling's famous umbrella. It was a large, black umbrella with the major stellar constellations painted in white on the inside.When pointed at the north star and rotated to the proper angle it served as a sky map by which constellations could easily be located.
The door to Mr. Skilling's office was in the northeast corner of the room and could be reached only by walking across the lecture room between the lecture table and the first row of seats. Almost every morning when I was about half-way through my 8 o'clock lecture Mr. Skilling would come in and walk nonchalantly across the room to his office. Usually he would pause by his office door to hear what I was saying or see what was on the blackboard. Occasionally he would say aloud, "Well now, that's interesting, isn't it?" Students liked and respected him and were polite enough to muffle their snickers.I rather enjoyed the interruptions and would have done almost anything to avoid embarrassing him.
All of this detail is given because I always considered Mr. Skilling to be the grandfather of our Chemistry Department and because these are fond memories of a very likable and capable man. He retire in 1936 but remained active, revising his textbook and writing technical articles. He had a full life and lived past his 95th birthday.
THE FIRST CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR IN THE JUNIOR COLLEGE will remain unnamed.He started the first freshman chemistry lectures in September 1921 but lasted only slightly more than one semester.His name does not appear in any catalog because new faculty were not listed until the year after appointment.There were many whispered stories about why he left.This was during prohibition and the most convincing story was that he went down to Tia Juana and came home loud and drunk.
CARL IDDINGS took over on March 1, 1922. I enrolled as a student in February 1922, but could not start the year course in the middle of the school year. So I took freshman chemistry under Mr. Iddings during the 1922-23 school year. He was a bit formal but was pleasant and likable, and was a good lecturer.During the second year of the junior college operation he taught both freshman and organic chemistry.He had earned his B.S. degree and had taken some graduate work at the University of California.Before coming to San Diego he had been in industrial work as superintendent of Burham Chemical Company.He did well as a teacher but decided he would rather return to industrial work and resigned July 1, 1923.
LEO FRANCIS PIERCE was appointed September 1, 1923, and directed the destiny of the Department of Chemistry until July 1, 1931.He had a B.S. degree from Grinnel College in Iowa, an M.S. degree from Tulane University and he just complete his Ph.D. degree at Stanford.He had had experience as a research assistant and instructor at the University of Idaho, professor of chemistry at Washburn College and instructor at Tulane, I remember that A.G. Peterson, Dean of Junior College Division, came into our freshman chemistry class late in the spring of 1923, announced that Professor Iddings was leaving, and then described in glowing terms the fine qualifications and experience of Dr. Pierce who would teach our sophomore chemistry classes.
I took organic chemistry and quantitative analysis from Dr. Pierce and found that he was indeed an exceptionally fine teacher, he also a very good friend.He showed a keen and sincere interest in each of his students. He visited each of our families and helped us plan our future careers.I remain thankful for the beneficial effect he had on my life.
But, Leo had other traits which made it difficult for him to get along with what is now called the establishment. He was of slight build, walked with a quick, hurried stride with a slight limp and with his shoulders stooped forward a bit as though he was always in a hurry.He usually had a small smile which seemed slightly twisted and vaguely sardonic.He always looked others directly in the eye and the bright sparkle in his eyes gave the impression that he was about to yield to some devilish impulse, an impression which was often justified.He enjoyed making practical jokes, sometimes with a cruel twist, and he loved to needle people, especially those above him in the academic hierarchy. These characteristics brought him some enemies and were the basis for innumerable stories, jokes and legends. A few of these will suffice to describe the man.
In the top drawer of his office desk Dr. Pierce kept a vicious looking but unloaded derringer. Whenever he was bothered by an unwelcome visitor, or by a student seeking an undeserved favor, the derringer was brought out and with a ceremonial flourish laid on the desk with the muzzle pointed at the intruder.During this pantomime the visitor was the object of a piercing, unblinking stare and a smile which Dr. Pierce tried to make as demoniacal as possible. Leo thought this was very funny and the effect on the visitor was sometimes amusing and even startling.
He believed that football and chemistry could not mix. Whenever he learned that a student was seeking, or had earned, membership on the football team that boy was called into the office and emphatically told that he could play football or continue his chemistry course, but he could not do both. Leo's outspoken criticism of some other student activities, including the operation of the school paper, brought him into disfavor with some students leaders, including the student editor. These students nick-named him Leo "Finkle" Pierce. Over a long period the exploits of Leo Finkle Pierce were subjects of articles in the students paper. Some were funny, some factual, and some quite caustic, but all were avidly read.
Dr. Rawson Pickard, an M.D. with a downtown office, and Dr. Pierce became close friends.Prohibition was in effect so they sometimes went to Tia Juana for Friday luncheon to indulge their linking for a glass of beer. Soon several other M.D.'s joined them and someone suggested that they adopt the name "International Board of Hygiene." One of the members had some very official-looking stationary printed.At the top of each sheet there was an impressive picture of a building, the name of the organization, and the names of the fictitious officers. I remember that the President was J. Montmorency Fortescue.The beer served in Tia Juana was manufactured there by the Aztec Brewing Company and its virtues were widely advertised in San Diego. After one of the Friday luncheons a formal letter on International Board of Hygience stationery was sent to the brewery stating that the board had tested A.B.C. beer and found it pure, high quality, salubrious, etc.Two or three days later, on large and small outdoor signs all over San Diego, the letter was duplicated -- phony building, J. Montmorency Fortescue, and all -- as a resounding endorsement by famous international scientific organization. Pierce and Pickard perpetrated a large number of other practical jokes, but I think this was their best.
Leo's closest friend on the campus was S. Lavender Stovall, who taught some elementary surveying courses. They were alike in that they were both revolutionaries, constantly critical of the establishment but always expressing their criticisms in a way that encouraged others to laugh at the silly antics of those in power. They accused the college bookstore of making huge profits and encouraged students to buy book through a neighborhood drug store.A story was circulated that the coach was giving birth-control aids and information to athletics. Nowadays this is condoned and even praised, but at the time it would have been cause for immediate dismissal. A very influential faculty member (not the coach) was forced to resign for moral reasons. When Pierce and Stovall heard about this they had a field day exaggerating rumors and making jokes, including a practical joke which was funny rather than cruel.Criticism of President Hardy by Pierce and Stovall increased in intensity until considerable pressure for their resignation was generated by representatives of the faculty and community.Finally both did resign.
In spite of his personality faults, Dr. Pierce deserves great credit for the curriculum development and early strength of the Department of Chemistry.Also, he should be praised for his foresight in planning facilities for chemistry on the new campus.He demanded and obtained high quality work from his students.They liked and respected him and gave him their loyalty. He was a leader in convincing authorities that the college should outgrow junior college status and become a full fledged four-year liberal arts college.He fought for and obtained approval for a respectable major in chemistry and was eminently successful in convincing a relatively high proportion of the students that they should major in chemistry.The facilities he planned for the new campus were excellent for the time and circumstances, but Leo taught only one semester on the new campus and resigned in the summer of 1931.
He came director of a clinical laboratory in Northern California and later owned and operated a group of such laboratories scattered over California and three other western states. He was always sure that the country was going to the dogs and often threatened to avoid going down with ship by moving to Mexico. Eventually he did retire to a home he bought in Tecate where he died a few years ago.
WALLACE A. GILKEY was appointed September 1, 1925, as the second, or junior, member of the department. He had an A.B. Degree and a Chemical Engineering Degree, both from Stanford, plus a year or two of industrial experience. He taught organic chemistry and freshman laboratory.He left in June 1928 to return to Stanford to complete work for his doctorate. After getting the Ph.D. he accepted a teaching position at Georgia Tech.A few years later he applied for reappointment at San Diego State, but at the time there were no opening.He did eventually get a teaching job in one of the western states, but I do not remember where, and since then have lost track of him.
DUDLEY H. ROBINSON I was given a one year appointment to take Gilkey's place while he was at Stanford. He did not return and my one year appointment lasted 45 years.My first assignment was the same as Gilkey's:organic chemistry and freshman laboratory.Later developments are discussed in another section of this report.
ELMER A. MESSNER was appointed September 1, 1931.Elmer and I were classmates at San Diego State from September 1922 to June 1924. He had two brothers, one operated a service station and the other managed a group of four movie theaters in downtown San Diego. I work one summer in the service station and for about a year and a half worked evenings in one of the theaters. I knew his family well and Elmer and I were good friends.However, when he later became a member of the chemistry faculty he developed some eccentricities which led to some of the most widely and humorously discussed legends of our department.No history of the department would be complete without at least the following abbreviated discussion of some of his exploits.
After two years at San Diego State as a student, Elmer went to Stanford where he earned his M.S. degree. Then he spent a year of graduate study at the University of Breslau in Germany.His parents were German and spoke German at home so Elmer thoroughly enjoyed life in Germany.
While Elmer was in Germany, Dr. Pierce had helped some friends set up a clinical laboratory in a medical clinic in the Monterey area.When Elmer returned, Dr. Pierce obtained for him an appointment as chemist in charge of the Monterey clinical laboratory.Elmer was well qualified, not only because of his chemical training, but also because he was a licensed pharmacist even before he came to San Diego State as a student.
When Dr. Pierce left our faculty he wanted the clinical laboratory position for himself so he talked me into recommending Elmer to fill the vacancy in chemistry.President Hardy, God rest his soul, appointed me Department Chairman in spite of my close association with Dr. Pierce, who had been Hardy's most severe and caustic critic, and the appointment of Elmer as second man in the department was approved.
Elmer was a cheerful and likable person but was a bit naive and consequently, was a patsy for practical jokes, even in his student days.When we were both students in the freshman chemistry laboratory some one "accidentally" spilled phenolphthalein solution on Elmer's white shirt.He wasn't particularly worried until someone uncorked a nearby bottle of ammonia and the shirt turned red.We calmed him by decolorizing the shirt with HCl fumes. But, the next week he complained bitterly about our feeble humor because everything in the week's laundry turned pink when soap was added. Later practical jokes by his students were not so crude but they were numerous. Elmer suffered through them with reasonably good humor and tolerance.
The major responsibility assigned to Elmer Messner was for teaching, and supervising the laboratory work, of the quantitative analysis class.He helped with the freshman laboratories and some other departmental chores but quant was his baby. He nursed it with Teutonic thoroughness but never got it out of swaddling clothes. His students were first required to calibrate an analytical balance and set of weights.This was discussed so thoroughly and students were held to such high standards that during the first semester they accomplished little more than the calibrations. But they were expected to complete gravimetric analysis of a series of samples and were given an "Incomplete" grade if they failed to do so.Over the years the average proportion of "Inc." grades were over 90%! During the second semester it was possible to complete the gravimetric analyses but practically impossible to do the volumetric analyses assigned as the second half of the course. Students were lucky to finish in three semesters; some took four and even five semesters. I really didn't have authority to fire him and, because of our long friendship, felt sorry for him and hoped to change his ways. Every year we had a long conference on changes which should be made, and each time he would promise that conditions would be better next year.
The great emphasis on extreme accuracy encouraged students to obtain illegally the recorded analyses of their samples. As the audacity and cleverness of students increased Elmer adopted more and more elaborated security measures. Finally, he had a system which he considered safe.His standardized samples, and the manufacturer's reports of their analyses, were kept in a padlocked box. This was kept inside a larger, heavy, wooden box secured with a combination lock, and this in turn, was kept in a locked steel cabinet in his office.The office was always locked when he was out.When a student wanted an unknown sample he brought a clean, dry weighing bottle and then was asked to leave.Elmer would lock his office door to make sure no one could peek over his shoulder to find the lock combination or see the number or the per cent composition of the sample.Then, in utter seclusion he would go through the rigamarole of unlocking, recording, and relocking. In spite of all this, students delighted in trying to outsmart him and occasionally succeeded.
Elmer also developed eccentricities in his off-campus life.He bought a used, air-cooled Franklin automobile.Manufacture of Franklins had ceased several years previously and his was not the last model made, but he thought it was vastly superior to more modern cars. Mechanics trained in repairing Franklins had become scarce, but Elmer found a local man who was an expert and wouldn't think of letting anyone else service or repair his prized possession. One weekend Elmer drove up north and somewhere near Riverside some part of the transmission failed. He found that the car would not go forward but would operate satisfactorily in reverse. He was sure that no one but his favorite mechanic could make satisfactory repairs, so he turned the car around and backed it 80 or so mile to San Diego!
Elmer lived with his parents and shared, to some extent, their interest in gardening and domestic animals. They once obtained a new-born calf and kept it for several months.Soon it grew too big for a pet, so they decided to have it butchered. It must have weighed 300 pounds, but this didn't stop Elmer.He somehow loaded it in the back seat of his Franklin sedan, closed the doors and windows and, in his nonchalant but dignified manner, drove it from La Mesa to the slaughter house which was near Pacific Beach.
Many other Messner legends could be told but enough has been covered to indicate why his students, though often frustrated and dismayed, still remember him, usually with humor and affection. Except for his eccentricities he was a good teacher.
However, he began to have health problems. He complained more and more about some vague intestinal disorders and shortly before he left the college he constantly complained of being cold.He was never one for half-way measures.While I was in the Navy but stationed in San Diego, I once visited the laboratory on my day off and found Elmer seated on a stool in the lab with students of one of his lab sections. All doors and windows were closed, even though the weather was actually quite mild. A small electric heaterwas keeping his feet warm, he was wearing a pullover sweater, a vest, a coat-sweater, a suit coat, an overcoat, his hat and a woolen neck scarf! He said all this was necessary to keep warm.Afterwards his health worsened and he began to stay home, sometimes for several days, without reporting his absence.He resented being questioned about frequent and prolonged absences and seemed to feel he had a right to take off as often and as long as he believed necessary. Finally, Dean Peterson and President Hepner agreed that he could not be retained and he was asked to resign. Although I was not even on campus at the time, Elmer blamed me for what he called "getting fired." I have always regretted that our long friendship ended this way.I am not sure of the date, but I believe that Elmer left about the middle of the 1944-45 school year.
AMBROSE R. NICHOLS was appointed in September 1939.During the summer of 1939 Chesney Moe and I were attending summer school at the University of Southern California when President Hepner made arrangements for Amby to visit us at U.S.C. (during the same summer we were asked to interview some other candidate for positions at San Diego State).At first there was some confusion because I thought the position available in chemistry had been filled.It turned out that the man I thought had been hired had accepted some other position. Nicholas was given the job and reported for work at the beginning of the fall semester. He had a B.S. degree from the University of California, and had just completed his Ph.D at the University of Wisconsin majoring in physical chemistry.
Amby had a cheerful, friendly disposition and was an excellent teacher.He quickly won the liking and respect of his students and colleagues. He took over responsibility for teaching and revising our physical chemistry course and taught the new course in Chemistry 2A-2B.Everything went smoothly until he left during the World War ll to accept a wartime industrial position. We didn't know until after the war that he was working on the Manhattan Project.He returned to San Diego State after the war.
President Hepner reorganized the college administrative structure after the war by dividing the college into divisions and I was appointed as Chairman of the Division of the Physical Sciences. At the same time President Hepner instituted the system of rotating department chairmen (and, as the saying goes, they have been going in circles ever since). Department chairmen were appointed for three years terms and for several years appointments were made in the order of seniority. Amby was the senior man (Messner had left) and was made the first three year chairman of the Department of Chemistry.
Several years later Amby was elected to be the first chairman of the Faculty Senate.His excellent work in this capacity made such a good impression that it resulted in his recommendation by President Love for appointment as President of the newly organized Sonoma State College.He was appointed to this position and left San Diego State in February 1961. While he was President of Sonoma State he continued to teach one chemistry course. After a few years he gave up his administrative post and returned to full time teaching as Professor of Chemistry at Sonoma State.
Our Department of Chemistry owes much to Dr. Nichols. For many years his deliberate and clear analysis of problems helped our faculty greatly in making many important decisions.He was the first in the department to obtain a research grant which brought overhead income to the college.We were sorry to lose him and wish him continued success and happiness at Sonoma State.
EUGENE P. WILKINSON earned his A.B. degree in chemistry at San Diego State in June 1939 and for the 1939-40 school year was appointed as "Assistant in Chemistry." He was the first to hold that rank on our faculty. His duties were similar to those of our present day graduate teaching assistants.In his spare time he started some course work toward an M.S. degree at U.S.C. He continued this graduate study during the summer of 1940, but subsequently was given a commission in the Navy before he completed work for the M.S. degree.
He was aboard a cruiser in Hawaii on Pearl Harbor Day, later attended submarine school and when the Japanese surrendered he was commanding officer of one of our World War ll submarines. After the war he visited San Diego State and borrowed some books on nuclear chemistry and physics.Soon afterwards he was trained by the Navy in the operation of nuclear reactors and subsequently given command of the submarine Nautilus, the world's famous first atomic ship.His historic message, "Under way on nuclear power," marked the beginning of a new era in ship propulsion.
The Nautilus paid a visit to San Diego and while he was in California U.S.C. awarded Captain Wilkinson his long delayed M.S. degree. A few months later he delivered our Commencement Address.Later he commanded the cruiser Long Beach, the Navy's second atom powered ship.
He now has the rank of Vice Admiral and is Commander of the Atlantic Submarine Fleet.A few weeks ago he was given the College of Science Outstanding Alumnus Award for 1973.
MRS. LAUREN POST is the wife of Lauren Post, who taught Geography at San Diego State before he retired a few years ago. She sang in operas before coming to San Diego under the professional name of Valeria Postnikova and has performed in many local productions such as Star Light Opera. Luckily, we found that she had a Master's degree in Chemistry because when Elmer Messner left there was no one else in sight to take his place. She graciously accepted a temporary appointment and she and Melvyn Ross held the fort until I returned in February 1946.It was something for a chore for her since she had been out of contact with chemistry for several years. But she did a good job and we were very thankful for her help.
MELVYN K. ROSS replaced Wilkinson as Assistant in Chemistry in September 1940.He came to San Diego from New England and completed his A.B. degree in chemistry at San Diego State in June 1940.He was of medium buildand light complexion and spoke with a slight Boston accent.He was meticulous and methodical in everything he did. This made it possible for him to reorganize and systematize our storeroom and some laboratory operations. A childhood bout with rheumatic fever had seriously damaged his heart, so he was somewhat limited in physical activity but this did not interfere with performance of his duties. He was cooperative with faculty and helpful with students and had a cheerful, outgoing disposition. Everyone liked him and called him by the nickname Mickey.
By 1944 Mickey had earned the title of Instructor of Chemistry and Physics.Nichols and I from chemistry, and Chesney Moe of the Physics Department, were all on war-time leave.This gave added responsibilities to Mickey which he accepted cheerfully and effectively. An indication of the difficulty of what happened during the war to many college faculties is given by his teaching assignment.With only an A.B. degree he had full responsibility for teaching Chemistry 2A-2B, Organic Chemistry and Physics 1A-1B.As enrollment and staff decreased Messner continued his usual assignments but his health was failing so many problems of consolidating classes to retain a reasonably diverse program fell in Mickey's lap.Thanks largely to him, we retained at the end of the war a sound basis for the ensuing rapid expansion.
During the two or three years before the war Mickey worked on a part time basis toward a M.S. degree at U.S.C. During this same period I was working part time toward a Ph.D. degree at U.S.C. Both of us traveled at least once a week to Los Angeles for late afternoon or evening classes and returned the same night for our next day's classes at San Diego State. We were able to schedule our absences from San Diego State on different afternoons so the San Diego State program didn't suffer appreciably.But we got pretty tired.We both attended summer classes at U.S.C. and both had fairly elaborate apparatus set up in one of the San Diego State labs for our thesis research projects. Research was done at night and on week ends.We worked under the same professor, helped each other with problems and became close friends.
Mickey's apparatus required a lot of glass blowing and he became quite expert in making and repairing glass apparatus. For several years after the war one of the most popular exhibits for visitors on Founder's Day was his glass blowing demonstration.
In the spring of 1949 we were shifting equipment between labs and Mickey came to the building on a Saturday morning to move some glassware of interest to him.He made several trips carrying boxes of small items from the basement to the second floor.Apparently this was too much for his weak heart.He died in his office, and we lost a loyal, dedicated teacher and staunch friend.
AFTER WORLD WAR ll Nichols and I returned and were immediately deeply involved in rapid changes in staff, facilities and curriculum.At first it was difficult to recruit properly qualified faculty in competition with all the other colleges which were also expanding rapidly, especially in the science and engineering fields.There was strong pressure to enforce the rule that tenure would not be granted to anyone who did not have the Ph.D. degree.Consequently, we were very happy when we were successful in recruiting fully qualified Ph.D.'s When this was not possible, we gave temporary appointments to people with lesser qualifications. Before the war President Hepner, whenever possible, personally interviewed all candidates for faculty positions. After the war this duty was usually delegated to Dean Donald Watson. Department Chairmen were consulted concerning needs in specific disciplines and whether or not the background of a candidate would be satisfactory; however, the decision on how the candidate as a person would meet college standards was largely an administrative decision made by the Dean and the President. As the faculty got larger and larger the final decision on hiring filtered down, first to the Division Chairman and, finally, to the department level.In the past 12 to 15 years departmental recommendations have very rarely been vetoed, although the President retains that legal responsibility.
It was a not my intention to discuss in detail the contributions of people who are still teaching in our Department of Chemistry.That should be the duty of some future historian.We have a strong department, I sincerely appreciate the work that everyone has done to get us such a reputation and I hope that every member of the staff feels as friendly toward me as I do toward them.However, time and space do not permit detailed discussion of how much each person has contributed to our success.
However, I will briefly mention those who were appointed shortly after the war to indicate the nature of developments during period that of rapid expansion.
JOHN A. SPANGLER was appointed in September 1946.He received his A.B. degree in 1939 and his Ph.D. in 1942, both from the University of West Virginia. He worked in industry for a short time and then served as an officer in the Navy during World War ll. We corresponded with him while he was still at sea on the a cruiser in the Pacific. We badly needed someone qualified in analytical and physical chemistry.He had those qualifications, was a Phi Beta Kappa and had excellent recommendations concerning personality, so we hired him unseen.That was never done before, or since, but it was a decision we never regretted. John served part of a term as Department Chairman which was interrupted by his being called back in the Navy during the Korean War.Upon his return from this duty, he completed a second term as Department Chairman. He deserves our thanks for many other contributions he has made to the progress we have made in chemistry at San Diego State.
ROSS A. EVANS was appointed in September 1946. He earned an A.B. degree in Chemistry at San Diego State in 1937 and an M.A.in 1939 from U.C.L.A.He serves as an officer in the Navy during World War ll.He left in February 1949 because the prospect for promotion without a Ph.D. seemed dim and he was offered a better paying position which did not require the doctorate.
WILLIAM NEAL MOQUIN was appointed in September 1946.He had been one of our chemistry students at San Diego State, obtained a B.S. degree from the University of California in 1936, had some graduate work at the University of California and also at Ohio State, and some industrial experience. He left in the summer of 1948, worked abroad for Ford for a couple of years, later earned a M.D. degree and was just starting his own practice when he died suddenly in his sleep. He was a good friend and we were sad and shocked to hear of his death.
ROBERT D. ROWE was another one appointed in September 1946.He earned his A.B. in 1931 and his Ph.D. in 1939, both at Stanford and he had several years of college teaching experience.During the war he had organized and taught a series of abbreviated courses in analytical chemistry for war workers.After our experience with Messner, Rowe's experience in organizing and shortening the training of analytical chemists was very appealing to us so he was hired and told to overhaul our quant course and come up with a respectable and reasonable curriculum.This he did very well. He later served his term as Department Chairman and completed a long and dedicated career when he retired in July 1971/1972?
MRS. EVA H. SCHWARTZ was appointed in 1946 after completing B.S. and M.S. degrees and 1 1/2 years of additional graduate study at the University of California, Berkeley. Her principal responsibility was for teaching freshman laboratory sections. She was competent and thorough and earned the respect of students by demanding honest and sincere effort from them. While she was on our staff she became pregnant.She was not one exchange personal confidence and as she grew larger and larger we hesitated to ask the expected delivery date or to suggest that maybe it was time to take a leave of absence.One Friday after classes she went home and then to the hospital, delivered the baby, then reported that she would be back in class on Monday!She continued her good teaching until the summer of 1951 when she decided to become a full time homemaker.
LIONEL JOSEPH came to this country from England, earned a B.S. degree from St. Louis University in 1933 and a Ph.D. from Washington University in 1937.He became a licensed pharmacist and practiced that profession for awhile. I met him in 1947 at U.C.L.A. where he was doing some post doctoral research and was teaching on a temporary appointment.We needed someone to help with organic chemistry and were happy when he accepted an appointment in the summer of 1947.He started our course work and training program in clinical chemistry and continued teaching clinical and biochemistry until he retired. Lionel always had some research project under way and his research activity was an important factor in helping us gain accreditation from the American Chemical Society.He retired at the same time as Bob Rowe did and is now living in England.
CLAUDE F. MERZBACHER was teaching in Oceanside Junior College when he visited our campus in the spring of 1947 and applied for a teaching position.He had earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1939.This was, in unites and time spent, the equivalent of a five year program. We needed helping the elementary courses and gave him an appointment effective in September 1947.A few years later he transferred to the Physical Science Department, subsequently earned an Ed.D. degree and has continued teaching courses in Physical Science. He has won respect as an outstanding teacher in this field.
DORTHY MILLER earned her B.S. at Southwest Missouri State Teachers' College, and her M.S. at the University of Iowa in Chemistry.She was appointed to help with the freshman program in September 1947 and continued to teach for us until June 1952.She was cheerful, likable, and competent.Both the students and the faculty were sorry to see her leave.She has since married and is having a successful career as a chemist in the Cal Tech laboratories.
URBAN J. LEWIS who earned an A.B. degree at San Diego State in 1948, had an appointment as Assistant in Chemistry for 1948-49 year.
CARL E. JAMES obtained his A.B. at San Diego State in 1933, and later did a year of graduate work at Berkeley where he also earned a secondary teaching credential.He taught high school chemistry in northern California for several years and after World War ll established a very successful practice as a consulting chemist specializing in sanitary and water chemistry. During the war he had worked for the Navy in this field. We were still expanding more rapidly than we could find good Ph.D'sand gave Carl an appointment as Lecturer in Chemistry to help with some evening classes we had established.His appointment was for the 1948-49 year.A few years later we were shocked to hear that he died suddenly. Although the cause of death was never established conclusively, it was assumed that it was from contact with some unknown toxin in samples he was testing.
NEIL J. HARRINGTON was appointed in September 1948.He had his B.S. from Monmouth College, plus some graduate study at De Paul and Northwestern Universities.While visiting in San Diego he applied for an appointment and we were happy to gain his help. He subsequently earned an Ed.D. degree at Colorado State and in recent years has taught and coordinated our expanding Chemistry 2A-2B course sequence.
ROBERT W. ISENSEE came to us in September 1948 from Oregon.He had his B.A. from Reed College, 1941, and M.A. - 1943 and Ph.D. - 1947 - from Oregon State. We badly needed more help in organic chemistry and Bob took on the job of reorganizing and strengthening our work in this field.He has continued his excellent teaching of organic chemistry, served a term as Department Chairman and recently has had the demanding responsibility of Coordinator of our Graduate Program.
HAROLD WALBA was appointed in September 1949 after completing his Ph.D. at Berkeley.His job was to help in expanding and strengthening our work in organic chemistry.He and Isensee have cooperated closely in this work ever since.Hal served as Department Chairman during the time we were actively preparing for the joint doctoral program.He deserves much credit for the selection of staff and the establishment of procedures which are now essential parts of the Ph.D. program.
ARTHUR W. MOSEN completed his B.S. plus one year of graduate work at Oregon State.He was appointed for the 1950-51 year, but left soon afterwards and has continued working as a chemist in one of the local aircraft companies. He did not continue with us because he did not have the Ph.D., so opportunities for promotion were better in industry.On two or three occasions he did help us out by teaching part-time in evening classes.
WILLIAM WARE was appointed September 1, 1962. He had received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in physical chemistry and had done some interesting research in flash photolysis which he continued while he was on our faculty. He was offered a permanent faculty position by the University of Minnesota, accepted the offer, and left San Diego State in July, 1966.
ROBERT LIVINGSTON retired from a long career of teaching and research at the University of Minnesota, where he had been William Ware's major professor, and accepted an appointment to our faculty September 1, 1966.He took over some of Ware's teaching duties and directed the research of several students who were working in fields of interest to him and to Ware. Dr. Livingston retired from our faculty in 1969 but for over a year continued on a voluntary, part-time basis to help his students finish their research projects.
Between 1950 and 1970 the rank of Lecturer was used fairly frequently in many departments. It was difficult to obtain approval for appointments in the two higher ranks of Professors and Associate Professor, and even more difficult to offer a fair salary to people who had some special qualification and a relatively high salary in industry. Appointments could be made on a temporary basis at higher than usual salary steps with the title of Lecturer if the President could be convinced that special circumstances justified such appointment.The following people were appointed as Lecturers in Chemistry.(In this and the following lists the date given is the year of appointment.)
ROSS A. BAKER - 1952. Dr. Baker had a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and had just retired after a long and distinguished teaching career at the university. He was well known for his active work on numerous committees of the American Chemical Society and had quite a reputation as a glass blower.He taught glass blowing to students, including John Spangler, and taught one or two freshman laboratory sections for about three years. At present he is living in a retirement home in Chula Vista.
CARL JAMES - 1954 (mentioned above).
ARTHUR H. HAYES - 1954. Earned his A.B. from San Diego State. I do not remember why he was appointed as Lecturer.
ARTHUR W. MOSEN returned in 1955 as a Lecturer. I believe this appointment was for one semester.
PHILLIP S. RADER - 1955. Had a B.S. from Middle Tennessee State College but has some special qualifications - in biochemistry, I believe.
ORLO E. MYERS was one of our chemistry graduates who went on to earn a Ph.D. from Washington University and later did some interesting research in physical chemistry and physics in industry.
As indicated above, the rank of Assistant in Chemistry was used quite early.This was continued until the appointment of Graduate Teaching Assistant was authorized. Some of those who were Assistants in Chemistry (usually for one year) were:
RICHARD D. BURNETTE - 1957 ROBERT L. HEMMINGER - 1958
JAMES R. JULCA - 1957 MARLE M. MILLARD - 1958
DAVID F. RANDOLPH - 1957
For a short time we were authorized to use the Assistant Instructor title.Some of those so titled were:
JOHN G. WYLIE - 1951 ROBERT E. PONSFORD -
MALCOLM M. CLANCY - 1953 FRANK R. LARKWORTHY -
GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS
In recent years we have used T.A.'s to carry most of the load in lower division laboratory courses - and in few cases for certain upper division laboratories.The list would be too long to include here but it should be mentioned that as a group they have done well in teaching and in scholastic work beyond the Master's degree.
Six of these have been mentioned: Harrington, Isensee, Merzbacher, Robinson, Spangler and Walba.I will simply list the other with dates of appointment. Lack of discussion of their talents and accomplishments is not meant to belittle in any way those talents and accomplishments. They are all fine people and they make up a department of whose record and promise I am very proud. Some future historian will, I am sure, have much praise for the record they are making and will continue to make the future.
MITCHEL T. ABBOTT - 1964 H. EDWARD O'NEAL - 1961
DEWITT COFFEY - 1968 MOREY A. RING - 1962
STEPHEN DAHMS - 1972 STEPHEN B. W. ROEDER - 1968
EDWARD GRUBBS - 1961 (part-time in Physics)
LARS H. HELLBERG - 1956 CLAY M. SHARTS - 1962
REILLY C. JENSEN - 1958 JOHN SHEPPARD - 1957
WALTER D. JONES - 1962 CHARLES J. STEWART - 1955
VINCENT J. LANDIS - 1954 EARL P. WADSWORTH, JR. 1956
JIM G. MALIK - 1957 ARNE N. WICK - 1958
JAMES H. MATHEWSON - 1964 JOHN H. WOODSON - 1964
ROBERT P. METZGER - 1968 (First one to earn a Ph.D. in our Joint Doctoral Program. Is teaching Physical Science but doing research in chemistry)
DUDLEY H. ROBINSON - 1932-46 ROBERT D. ISENSEE - 1958-61
AMBROSE R. NICHOLS - 1946-49 HAROLD WALBA - 1961-64
ROBERT D. ROWE - 1949-52 ARNE N. WICK - 1964-67
LIONEL JOSEPH - 1952-55 CHARLES J. STEWART - 1967-70
JOHN A. SPANGLER - 1955-58 EARL P. WADSWORTH - 1970-
(actually started his term in 1952, (now serving his second term)
but when he was called back to
active duty in the Navy, Joseph
SECRETARIES AND TECHNICIANS
In July of 1946 we were authorized to hire our first secretary, Irene Janeck, and our first technician, Lindore Leiser. Now that we are comparatively well staffed with secretaries and technicians it is difficult to visualize conditions as they were in 1946.The very rapid increase in enrollment brought us a great many serious problems and we needed help badly.
Before World War ll Mrs. Florence Schneider, who operated the telephone switchboard for the college, did what little secretarial work we could get done without doing it ourselves. Each Friday I would give her a mimeograph stencil which I had typed at home on my typewriter.This was a list of 20 or 30 review questions and a homework assignment for the freshman chemistry class.She ran off the required number of copies and these were given to students on Monday as material for them to study for the next weekly quiz which was given the following Friday.Mrs. Schneider did similar work for all the departments on campus and this was the only secretarial help available to faculty members.So, although we had to share Irene with all the departments in two divisions, having her available to help with routine typing and correspondence made us feel that progress had been made in one tremendous stride.
Until Mr. Leiser was hired the storeroom had been operated by student assistants under the supervision of faculty members. Serving of students at the storeroom window was done by two or more student assistants on some sort of split shift arrangement and faculty responsibility was poorly defined. This meant that no single person took full responsibility so everything was usually in a confused mess. Mickey Ross helped a great deal by reorganizing shelf storage and ordering procedures but neither he nor anyone else had time enough to do the job properly. Mr. Leiser, (nicknamed Mike) had retired from the Navy with many years of experience in operating storerooms for the medical corps. Incidentally, the availability in San Diego of retired Navy men with various types of technician experience has been a great boon to the college.We have employed a large number of them and we owe them a lot for the help they have given us in many, many ways.Mike reorganized all the storeroom activities and set up a workable system for keeping a running inventory and reordering supplies.He was accustomed to Navy discipline, tended at home to be a bit dictatorial, and frequently had personality clashed with faculty members who always have had the tendency to be informal and easy-going in the use of supplies and equipment. Mike periodically threatened to quit and on several occasions various faculty members suggested that we should replace him. But, he did an outstanding job of maintaining a good storeroom and I was able to keep personality problems reasonably well under control for the many years until he retired in February 1968. We all respect him and he remains a good friend of all who worked with him.
Duties assigned to Irene increased rapidly in number and complexity.Within a year or tow a new secretary took over completely the secretarial work for the Life Sciences Division and Irene was able to systematize the secretarial work for our division.By the time we moved the Division Office to PS-111 she was badly overloaded with work and we soon were rapidly expanding the secretarial staff of the Division.
With a past history of no secretaries, and then only the one secretary for two divisions, the college administration was reluctant to assign secretaries to divisions or departments. A college-wide secretarial pool was organized and the theory was that when a division secretary was overloaded she would send work to the pool. This never worked satisfactorily, so the next step was to assign some additional secretaries to divisional pools and have secretarial work from departments sent to the division pool. We did not have physical facilities for more than three secretaries in the division office so, as expansion continued, we started the practice of placing secretaries in departmental offices "on loan for the division pool."Such assignments were reasonably permanent but technically such secretaries were subject to recall to the division pool or reassignment to another department, depending on needs.By the time Irene retired in 1958 we had about a dozen secretaries in the division.
The assignment of technicians followed about the same historical sequence.For many years all technicians technically belonged to a division pool. This was largely a fiction, since most assignments turned out to be permanent, but there were for awhile several cases of split assignments, between chemistry and physics for example.
This discussion may seem overly long to anyone familiar only with present conditions but for the period from about 1950 to 1970 the problems of fighting for assignment of additional position, hiring, firing, promoting, and assigning of non-teaching staff took a lot of more time and effort than it should have.
Finally, July 1, 1963, Erlene Carter was permanently assigned as secretary to the Chemistry Department. She is still continuing her outstanding record of efficient, devoted and unflappable service. She deserves the sincere gratitude of every faculty member for personal favors and for her help in getting the department through the difficult periods of expansion of the graduate program, institution of the joint doctorate program, establishment of our numerous important grants and development of a good reputation in research.
Others who have given important help in the Chemistry Department secretarial work include the following:
DORTHY CURTIS was first assigned to the division pool in February 1958.During the spring semester of 1960 she served as Chemistry Department secretary on loan for the division pool.She has had similar assignments in other departments and now works as what might be called a roving secretary and trouble-shooter for the Department of Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physical Science.
LOIS KUZNIAR worked in the department office during the 1964-65 school year.
JOAN HOFFMAN served the department during the 1965-66 school year.
ROSE GOODNER was one of our department secretaries from September 1966 to September 1967, and then again from November 1968 to February 1972.
VALETA DROWN has continued her excellent work in the department office since October 23, 1967.
MARY COLEMAN joined the staff in February 1972 and continues her efficient and cheerful service.
Those, in addition to Mr. Leiser, who have served and continued to serve as members of our staff of technicians in the Chemistry Department include the following:
WILLIAM FISCHER, JR. joined us in June 1958 and has been in charge of our main storeroom since Leiser retired.
RALPH CARTER (no relation to Erlene) was appointed in August 1961 and works with Bill Fischer in the main storeroom and in the solutions room.
TOM PARADY was in charge of the Chemistry Department Machine Shop from August 1960 until he retired in June 1970.
MARLIN ENDERS came to us in October 1962. He established the Chemistry Department's Electronics Shop and continues to do outstanding work in charge of this shop.
HAROLD THOMPSON came to San Diego State in December 1961.He wanted work in electronics but there was no opening in this field at that time so he took a position on the college maintenance staff.A few months after Mr. Enders was appointed we were able to transfer Thompson to the Chemistry Department where he and Enders share the electronics work of our department.
BRYAN FUNK came to work in spring of 1970 as an assistant to Tom Parady in the Machine Shop. Since Parady retired Bryan has been in charge of machine work for the department.
ROBERT STEED has relieved the faculty and student researchers of a tremendous amount of quite complex analysis since he came to work as an analyst for the department in January 1965.
FRANK RUST has had the almost impossible task of keeping faculty and students happy by his efficient operation of the storeroom which serves the freshman laboratories.
EVAN GRANT , after many years of experience in industry, joined our staff as glassblower in December 1965. His beautiful work has been a very great help to the faculty and he is passing his expertise on by teaching a glassworking class.
LARRY RICKEL joined Bryan Funk in the Machine Shop when Tom Parady retired in 1970.
Chemistry students have always been exceptional in many ways.On about half-a-dozen occasions during my tenure some person or group has made a study of some facet of the abilities of students majoring in different fields. The chemists were always at or near the top in scholastic achievements, especially those requiring skill in reasoning and calculating.But in some social activities, such as campus politics and the gyrations of the upper social crust, chemists have rated a bit below par. I suppose that the analytical mental processes necessary for success in chemistry are usually associated with a tendency toward introversion.
But introversion in campus-wide activities has generally been over compensated by strong departmental loyalty and cohesion, often accompanied by extroversion within the department. Two student organizations which directly and indirectly provided opportunities for social and extrovert behavior have been the Delta Kappa Fraternity and the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.
My first association with Delta Kappa came when as a freshman at San Diego State I was initiated into the organization then known as the Kollege Kem Klub.The initiation consisted of a solemn ceremony, a pledge of secrecy and allegiance and a recital of the famous quotation about how chemists must find their pleasure "midst smoke and flame."This took place at the home of the red-headed lady most of us know as Lois Sorkness, or Lois Perry. Her later experience as the toughest, but one of the best, high school chemistry teachers in Southern California would make interesting reading but will be left to some other writer. To proceed with the KKK initiation; we neophytes had to prove our expertise by preparing nitroglycerin. Halfway down a canyon behind the house "to avoid possible damage to any homes" we were required to mix a portion of "concentrated nitric acid" with some "glycerin" and were warned that if the temperature of the mixture rose appreciably there would be a violent explosion.The temperature did rise and just when it was nice and warm to the touch someone hidden in a bush behind me fired a large and very loud gun -- a frightening surprise, to put it mildly.This combination of horseplay, with a clannish devotion to chemistry and the department characterized Delta Kappa for many years.
When I returned to he campus as a faculty member of 3K name had been dropped officially, but retained sentimentally, in the new official fraternity name of Delta Kappa.Delta Kappa continued its active life as an independent, local fraternity until the mid 1930's when it became a local chapter of Lambda Delta Lambda, a national physical science fraternity with chapters on the campuses of a number of small colleges in several other states. However, one of the conditions insisted upon by the local group was that the official title should be Delta Kappa Chapter of Lambda Delta Lambda. So, the name Delta Kappa persisted until the group became inactive during World War ll.
Activities were resumed after the war, but the presence of a large percentage of veterans changed some of the attitudes and behaviors of all students.The student body as a whole was more mature.The percentage of married students increased greatly. Students were more serious about obtaining as quickly as possible the required qualifications for a profession and there was less tendency to devote time and energy to extra-curricular activities. Delta Kappa activities became more and more restricted to on-campus talks.Interest gradually declined and membership dropped almost to zero.
During the years since San Diego State was accredited by the American Chemical Society there have been sporadic attempts to organize a local chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma or Phi Lambda Upsilon. None have succeeded for a number of reasons, but principally for lack of enthusiastic support. However, a chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society was organized about 1952, and this group has carried on some of the traditions of Delta Kappa. Membership, and intensity of interest and activity, have varied widely with periodic variations in the caliber of student and faculty leadership but generally this has been a reasonably live and effective group.
Some of the Delta Kappa activities were serious and scholastic in nature.The semi-monthly or monthly meetings were usually evening meetings in the home of a member or faculty sponsor.An outside speaker from industry or one of the professions were obtained whenever possible, but occasionally the evening talked was by a member or by one of the faculty. The formal talk was followed by refreshments and informal discussion and banter. There were occasional on-campus meetings and, rather rarely, field trips to places of interest to chemists.
But an equal, if not more important, function of Delta Kappa was the providing of an outlet for the pressure for social activity within the Chemistry Department.A custom developed of starting a poker game after the evening meeting was officially adjourned.Chips were usually five or ten for a penny, so on one was hurt financially. Losers had to accept good-natured gibes and winning was a way to gain face but the main objective was to have an excuse for a social evening, often lasting till midnight or later. In contrast to present-day publicity about reputed orgies of various types of students, it is interesting that drinking was never a problem, partly, I suppose, because meeting were in family homes.
For several years Delta Kappa held an annual formal dinner off campus, including girl friends, faculty and wives. Sometimes there was dancing, usually to juke box music.
The Delta Kappa activities which old grads remember most fondly were the desert trips.A friend and I spent an Ester vacation in Death Valley and enjoyed it so much that I led a group of Delta Kappas on a similar trip the following spring. We slept under the stars and cooked our own meals.Roads were unpaved and very rough, and cars were not always dependable. We went via Searle's Lake where we had a guided tour through the plant of the American Chemical and Potash Company led by a former student who worked there as a chemist.The rest of the trip was all non-technical adventure and fun. The road up through Wildrose Canyon was little more than two ill-defined ruts strewn with boulders.In Death Valley the park rangers had the dirt road in fair shape and were in the process of preparing camp-site facilities at several locations, so the stay in the valley was reasonably comfortable.
One day we drove to Rhyolite and Beatty, camped out overnight and next day drove back down into the valley through Titus Canyon.The road up and out of the east side of the valley was a fairly steep climb through the gravel and loose rock of an alluvial fan.With under-powered cars and a tailwind the major problem was to reach the top before the radiator boiled dry.The return trip through Titus Canyon was a rough as Wildrose Canyon but was about the most spectacular ride I ever had.
In spite of the difficult travel conditions we had no mishaps more serious than a few flat tires and boiling radiators and everyone stayed happy.The camaraderie which developed led to friendships which have lasted a lifetime. Activities included cooking and eating, loafing, horseplay, evening poker sessions and a few song fests. Elmer Messner was in fine fettle and retained his good humor in spite of being the object of many practical jokes. I remember that he had about a quart of milk which was beginning to sour.He was too thrifty to throw it away so he decided to make cottage cheese by hanging the bottle outside his car and letting the rough roads supply the necessary churning motion. After two days he did get a horrible looking curdy mess which he said tasted fine, but no one else would taste it.
This was the first of a series of Easter Vacation desert trips.Destinations included Boulder Dam, Salton Sea and, most popular of all, San Felipe on the Gulf of California.
These trips were discontinued during the war but afterwards John Spangler and I led a group on a trip to Boulder Dam. When John first came to San Diego he had a shiny black Packard sedan.He had cut the backof the front seat and hinged it so it could be folded down and, with the other seat cushions, made it into a bed.John and I rode and slept in this chariot.The second night out we arrived at Boulder Dam about 9:00 p.m. and camped on the lake shore. There was a strong and bitterly cold wind and everyone wanted to get to bed without waiting for a cooked meal. So, we ate a can of cold beans and made up the bed in to the chariot.I will always remember how thankful I was for a warm, enclosed bedroom and how sorry I was for the poor kids sleeping out on the ground in the cold wind.
Notorietywas earned by Delta Kappa once or twice by initiation pranks. But the most publicized stunt involved painting this S on Black Mountain (Cowles Mountain). This job was normally assumed each fall by the freshman class but interest waned a few years after we moved to the present campus and one year later the S was completely neglected. When neglect continued into the following fall Delta Kappa decided to take over. Some members with surveying experience staked out the area to be colored.During the afternoon brush was cleared away by members, girl friends and pledges, and one young faculty member.Lime was not spread until the sky was almost dark so outsiders did not notice what was being done. But in the bright sun next morning everyone saw the bright white S with the fraternity letter DK below, equally white and plainly legible. There was quite an uproar from the social fraternities, a little praise and a lot of criticism. After a suitable interval for loud, self-righteous recriminations a work party was organized and next day the fratnerity initials were made to disappear by sweeping up the dime and covering the last traces with dirt.But school spirit revived -- mission accomplished.
There were other departmental activities which were not restricted to Delta Kappa members.One of these was the annual beach party.On the selected day all laboratories were closed and we gathered on the beach about 1 p.m. for an afternoon of swimming and games. A featured event was a softball game between the M-W and T-Th lab sections.After a couple of years the Physics Department students were included and the game between the physics and chemistry majors began. The winning team had the honor of having its department name inscribed on the "Robinson Cup," a large, old fashion graduated measuring cup covered with aluminum paint.Since I usually umpired, the chemists won much more often than the physicists.
One year Elmer Messner and I rented from a costume company some 1890 bathing suits, hats and moustaches and surreptitiously donned them in the middle of the afternoon.We then staged the previously ballyhooed "Footrace of the Century." Someone tripped Elmer, he accused me, we had another false start, more hagging, and ended up in a wrestling match.
On another occasion someone mixed the punch in a couple of discarded metal drums which had contained benzene. It didn't taste too bad going down but pretty soon everyone was burping benzene fumes. When one or two urped their cookies I was seriously worried about benzene poisoning.After a while I realized that the punch had been spiked and then knew that the "poisoning" was temporary.
For several years a student named George Walton brought his accordion.He could play almost any tune requested and the party usually wound up with music and singing around the bonfire.At that time all chemistry majors were required to take two years of German so songs always included "Die Lorelei," "Oh Tannebaum" and interminable verses of "Ist Das Nicht Ein Schnitzelbank."
Shortly after we moved to the present campus we had an older student who previously had some experience in organic lab procedures. He took some courses, helped out in the storeroom and unofficially helped other students with problems and procedures in organic synthesis.(At the time we gave a course in Organic Preparation using the German edition of Fisher's classic book.)Partly to pay him for his help, we gave him quite complete freedom in the laboratory. He was a typical "pot-boiling organicker" of the old school so the lab was always in a horrible mess. I remember one occasion when he spent a couple of weeks boiling lobster shells -- hundreds of them --and going through an involved treatment of separation process to recover a derivative of fucose.He set such a bad example that the other students were careless and the labs were always cluttered and dirty -- except for one day a year: Founder's Day.
Founder's Day always came on Sunday, so the laboratories were closed and cleaned on the preceding Friday and Saturday. We got no help other than normal janitor services so we all put on old clothes and pitched in ; advances students, Delta Kappa and faculty.All apparatus, except for exhibits, was hidden away in lockers or in the storeroom. Windows were washed and the floors were mopped and then either waxed or painted.
The wooden bench tops and exposed plumbing were given a fresh coat of black asphalt paint.Every two or three years the locker doors and drawers were given a fresh coat of battleships gray paint.By Sunday morning we were good and tired and occasionally had to somehow cover up or disguise some areas of wet paint.But, by Sunday noon we were ready for inspection. Most of the Founder's Day visitors were parents and friends of students and almost all of them complimented us on the neatness and cleanliness of the labs!
Several demonstrations were set up in each lab, manned by upper division students who seemed to enjoy showing off their expertise. Mickey Ross' glassblowing demonstration was always a popular feature attraction. Despite the shortness of these visits with friends and relatives they led to number of lasting friendships with families of students.
The foregoing emphasis on conditions on the old campus and during the early days on the present campus was intended to set a background for subsequent developments.After World War ll I devoted more and more time to the duties of Division Chairman and less and less time to working directly with students. Consequently others in the department are better qualified to discuss extra-curricular activities for the period from about 1950 to 1970.But in September 1970 I returned to full-time teaching, so feel qualified to make some comparisons between the early days and the present.
Many things are essentially the same. From TV and comic books our entering freshmen may have learned more about atom bombs and lasers but they are still as immature in social behavior and in quantitative reasoning as they were fifty years ago.Delta Kappa has been replaced by the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, seminars and informal functions of the group of graduate teaching assistants (TA's). But these meet the need for the sense of belonging to a group with relatively impermeable boundaries and the need for horseplay and special activities such as picnics and beer busts.The departmental faulty does not include any characters as colorful as Leo Pierce or Elmer Messner, but the same old tendency to ham it up before an audience still frequently comes to the surface. It is still true that students relate best to the younger faculty members and that the younger faculty members are the most active in sponsoring and participating in student activities. Paranthetically this is in my opinion the only pedagogically acceptable excuse for our extensive use of graduate TA's.
In comparing old and present times, differences are more obvious than similarities, but not necessarily more important. When I was a freshman at San Diego State we all wore coats and ties to class and on special occasions I wore my striped silk shirt with the detachable but stiff collar. The girls dressed in a manner which was equally formal, but completely feminine. The changes in dress and demeanor are certainly the most obvious, and often the most disconcerting, of all the changes. This of itself is superficial but is worrisome because it likely reflects a change in mental attitude. Fifty years ago students did not worry about problems of identity or psyche and delusions of their potency in social and political affairs.Consequently, especially in the last ten years, students in general have become much more unhappy, disgruntled and selfish. Concerning the quality of chemistry students, there has been an alarming increase in the percentage of mental free-loaders. But the good students are better than ever and to me this amply justifies optimism about future performance in our department.
During the past fifty years our chemistry curriculum has expanded from three junior college courses; freshman, organic and quant, to a full fledged Ph.D program.I will not attempt to list all the steps that process. That would be boring and unnecessary. If anyone is seriously interested, the record is available in old college catalogues and administrative files. But it may be interesting and useful to outline some of the steps and emphasize the obstacles we had to overcome in bringing about changes, none of which came easily.
In a sense the tone of future struggles was set by Leo Pierce.He was ambitious and energetic and he wanted to develop a four year chemistry major which involved strict discipline and high academic standards. This was in an institution controlled by people who had little interest in any activities other than teaching education courses and training elementary school teachers and the institution was in a town in which the demands for chemists was practically zero.Every small advance involved argument, cajolery and politically maneuvering. This difficult, up-hill battle has continued against differing forces and circumstances for half a century.
The backgrounds of our Presidents make up an interesting sequence.President Hardy started his career as an elementary school teacher. President Hepner was a high school teacher who later was a Superintendent of Schools.President Love academic training emphasized the social sciences. Hardy worked for the development of a four year collegiate training for elementary teachers. Hepner concentrated on developing a five year program for secondary teachers and a liberal arts college for the community.Love's major interest was to gain university status for the college. The joint doctorate in chemistry was a major step toward university status and Dr. Love's interest and hard work at the state level were very important factors in getting approval for the program, but he was not a scientist and often had to be educated and convinced or our needs. And now we have a president who is a chemical engineer and a dean of graduate studies who is a chemist -- just at the time I was retiring!Under present circumstances it might be fun to start all over again!
Early steps in our progress seem small and slow but at the time were thought of as major advances. A Chemistry 2A-2B, 3A-3B course taught by Skilling was added in 1923.This was dropped and the first junior courses, Advanced Inorganic and Organic Preparations, were added in 1926.My first contributions to curriculum expansion included courses in Industrial Chemistry (1926), Industrial Analysis (1932) and History of Chemistry (1930). Biochemistry was first taught by Messner in 1933.
The A.B. degree in Pre-secondary Curricula was first authorized in 1928.At this time the law required that secondary teachers should be required to have an A.B. degree plus a fifth year of graduate work leading to the secondary teaching credential.The pre-secondary major fro the A.B. degree had to include a minimum of ten units in professional education courses but included a major in undergraduate work in an academic filed. This was a tremendous advance for us. We didn't like the ten units of education but we had a four year undergraduate major and for the first time wrote into the catalog the impressive title "Research - 2 to 5 units, Staff," then number Chemistry 200.
The next decade was spent in strengthening courses and adding new ones and by 1940 our catalog showed an extensive and quite impressive list of offering.A glance at the list seems to indicate more courses than the small faculty could possibly teach.We did carry heavy teaching loads by present standards but many of the upper division courses were given only on alternate years, so over a period of two, or sometimes three, years we did cover all the courses listed.
Our formal application for approval of the joint doctorate program included the following statement:
"San Diego State College was the first of the California State Colleges to offer an academic major in chemistry for the B.A. degree and first to have an undergraduate curriculum in chemistry nationally recognized through accreditation by the American Chemical Society. This college was also a member of the first group of State Colleges to gain approval for chemistry curricula for the B.S., M.S. and M.A. degrees."
We are very proud of these accomplishments but they did not come with automatic ease.Each step involved a prolonged struggle on our campus with administrators, faculty committees and faculty as a whole. Arguments were sometimes prolonged and bitter but eventually we won every battle.Then we had to work on the authorities in Sacramento.At first we were under the State Board of Education and those people were hard to deal with on any project which did not involve education courses and teacher training.Later we came under the jurisdiction of our Chancellor and Board of Trustees. This eased some problems but created new ones in bureaucracy.Always in the background there were the sinister but very powerful forces of the political power of the University of California opposing every move which in any way might adversely affect the prestige or budget of the University.
Without going into great detail I know of no better way to indicate the nature of obstacles to our advancement than to outline what we faced in gaining approval for the joint doctorate. Within our own division we started talking about the possibility of doctoral degrees about 1955 and first discussed it with President Love in 1957 or 1958.On a very informal basis Dr. Wick talked about the possibility some kind of a joint arrangement with some of his friends on the La Jolla campus of the University.Dr. Love gradually became interested and took the first step in October 1959 by asking our faculty if they would support efforts to develop a joint doctoral program. There were some local jealousies and fears as to what effect this might have on our rather meager budget for our M.S. and M.A. programs but eventually we won faculty support. Nothing important happened for two years except more informal discussion with people at La Jolla, and with the Chancellorand some other State College presidents.Several departments in our division were interested in a doctorate sometime in the future but chemistry was better prepared and was working harder for it than the others.In December 1961 President Love announced to the faculty senate that the first formal requests for joint doctoral programs would be submitted by our Chemistry Department and by the School of Education (plans for a Ph.D. in education were later abandoned).He also said that if all went well it was possible that these two programs might be in operation by September 1962.Our first tentative written proposal was submitted January 18, 1962. Other progress was made slowly and on October 8, 1963, Dr. Love appointed a committee of Robinson, Spangler, Wick, Dean Watson and Dean Lemme as Chairman, to work out details of operation and more formal proposal with similar committee from U.C.S. D. This turned out to be a relatively simple task.The real difficulty was experienced in gaining approval for the proposal from each of the following people, committees and organization:
San Diego State College Joint Doctoral Writing Committee
Ad Hoc Joint Committee of SDSC and UCSD for Preparing the Proposal
SDSC Committee of Deans and Division Chairmen
SDSC Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Planning
SDSC Senate Curriculum Committee
UCSD Faculty Senate
Statewide Academic Senate of the California State Colleges
(this group gave us the most severe and prolonged opposition of all those
who investigated our proposal)
Registrars of both institutions
Graduate Deans of both institutions
Deans of Academic Planning in the Chancellor's Office
Council of Graduate Schools
The Joint Graduate Board
The Coordinating Council
Board of Trustees of the State Colleges
Board of Regents of the University
The Chancellor's Legislative Lobbyist, Les Cohen
The Legislative Analyst, A. Alan Post
California Senate Finance Committee
California Assembly Ways and Means Committee
It was necessary to prepare data and then to meet and confer with each of the above.Finally after the program was approved it was necessary for the programs of individual Ph.D. candidates to be approved by:
The Graduate Division of each institution
A Joint Guidance Committee
The Candidate's Doctoral Committee
Objections and delays were encountered at every step so final approval was obtained over two years later than we had expected. Looking back it seems a miracle that we were able to overcome all the objections and to live through all the frustrations and delays.But, we did, and final approval came during the summer of 1965. A formal announcements gave the Trustees approval, "overriding objections by the Statewide Academic Senate."