A long-standing tradition of excellence in chemical research is a hallmark of the University of Illinois. Chemistry at Illinois has for decades held a place among the top five or six chemistry departments in the nation, and the department has been a leader in chemical education and research for over 130 years. By the end of the 20th century, more than 3,400 PhD degrees (and 9,000 masters and undergraduate degrees!) had been awarded, making the University of Illinois the premiere PhD-granting chemistry program in the United States. All of you who have been associated with our department have contributed to our standing as one of the finest chemistry programs in the world.
Our heritage stems from the work of William A. Noyes, Roger Adams, John C. Bailar, Jr., and Herb Gutowsky, to name just a few of the individuals of enormous stature who helped to transform the field of modern chemistry. Our faculty, students, and alumni continue to distinguish themselves and our department through their dynamic leadership and vision. Remarkably, among those who have been associated with the Department of Chemistry are ten Nobel Prize winners (E. J. Corey, Edward Doisy, Vincent du Vigneaud, Robert Holley, Edwin Krebs, Salvador Luria, Rudy Marcus, Martin Rodbell, Phillip Sharp, and Wendell Stanley). The first African-American PhD chemist in the United States (St. Elmo Brady, PhD '16) graduated from the University of Illinois. Twenty-three Illinois chemists have served as Presidents of the American Chemical Society, and thirteen Illinois chemists have been awarded the Priestley Medal, the highest honor the American Chemical Society can bestow. This record of accomplishment is the reason Illinois chemists are held in such high esteem wherever they go.
Thank you for your contribution to our success. We extend an open invitation to visit any time, and invite you to stay in touch.