Department of Chemistry History

History Overview  

Historic photo of a laboratory inside of Noyes Lab

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois has a rich history that can be traced back to the founding of the University, then known as the Illinois Industrial University. Over its 150 year history, the department has expanded from a basement lab to four buildings, been the site of some of the most important chemical breakthroughs of the last century, and has counted eleven Nobel Prize winners amongst its faculty, fellows, and alumni. Read more about these, and other, Illini Chemists.

The Department of Chemistry celebrated its sesquicentennial on October 6th and 7th, 2017

Film honors Native American activist Carlos Montezuma

Carlos Montezuma was the first Native American to achieve a BS in chemistry, which he did in 1884 at the University of Illinois. Click on the link above to view the 30-minute documentary of his extraordinary life.