Named Lectures in the Department of Chemistry
The Bailar Medal and Lectures in inorganic chemistry commemorate Professor John Christian Bailar, Jr., a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois from 1928 until his death in 1991. Through his research and mentoring, Bailar became known as the father of American coordination chemistry. Recent Bailar lecturers include Omar Yaghi, Fraser Armstrong, Richard Eisenberg, Jacqueline Barton, Donald Darensbourg, Marcetta Darensbourg, Lawrence Que, Jr., Robert Grubbs, Kenneth Raymond, and Michael Grätzel.
Our department recognizes the significance of sustainable diversity and inclusion to give our community a competitive advantage in our ever-evolving global society. In that regard, we created the St. Elmo Brady Postdoctoral Inclusive Excellence Symposium series in 2020. The initiative invites talented underrepresented postdocs of color currently conducting postdoctoral research at top chemistry programs across the country to present their research to the students and faculty at Illinois Chemistry. Preference is given to postdoctoral scholars planning to apply for faculty positions within a year or two. A vital outcome of this program, and one that is often underestimated in its import, will be the networking opportunities made available to visiting postdoctoral scholars with members of our community.
This distinguished lectureship series has included numerous Nobel laureates, many of whom received their Nobel Prize after serving as Doisy lecturers.
This physical chemistry lecture series has included Michael Bowers, W. E. Moerner, Kenneth Eisenthal, Robin Hochstrasser, Alexander Pines, Stuart Rice, and Rudolph Marcus.
This lecture is held annually to recognize young faculty members who have made significant contributions to their field of research within organic chemistry.
This lectureship features internationally recognized senior researchers in the field of inorganic chemistry, and is supported by a gift from alumnus Sheldon Shore (BS, ’51). Professor Jim Mayer of Yale University was the inaugural Illinois Distinguished Lecturer in 2016.
The Keeling Lectures, jointly organized by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, honor the contributions of Illinois alumnus Charles David Keeling to precision measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This series attracts world-class researchers to Illinois to discuss the intersection of chemistry and climate.
This School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) lecture series is sponsored by the Nelson J. Leonard Distinguished Lecturer Fund, set up in 1986 by the late Mrs. Louise Leonard, Eli Lilly and Company, the Monsanto Company, Organic Syntheses, Inc., and Professor Leonard's colleagues and students. At the time of his retirement in 1986, Professor Leonard had been at the University of Illinois for 44 years, directed 120 graduate students, and published over 400 papers.
Presented annually, the Marvel Lectures recognize prominent senior researchers in the field of organic chemistry. Recent speakers include Kendall Houk, Paul Wender, Andrew Myers, Jean Frechet, Peter Schultz, and K. C. Nicolaou.
The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering organizes the Samuel W. Parr Lectures, which recognize researchers who have made a large impact in the chemical engineering discipline.
The Rinehart Lectures in Chemical Biology were established at the University of Illinois in 2008 in honor of Professor Kenneth Rinehart, an internationally recognized pioneer in chemical biology who investigated organic compounds with biological activity. Recent speakers include Benjamin Cravatt, Ronald Raines, JoAnne Stubbe, Angela Gronenborn, and Peter Dervan.
In honor of the life accomplishments of its namesake, the G. Frederick Smith Memorial Lecture in Analytical Chemistry is annually organized by the University of Illinois’ analytical chemistry area. The Smith Lectures celebrate important contributions to measurement science and are generously supported by GFS Chemicals Inc. and the Community Foundation of Delaware County, Ohio. Recent lecturers include James Anderson, Richard Mathies, Richard Van Duyne, Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, Hermann Gaub, Alan Marshall, and Allen Bard.
This lecture highlights one of the early pioneers for women in chemistry, Sylvia Stoesser. It features an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the chemical community and provides new perspectives in the chemical field outside academia. Recent speakers have included Catherine (Katie) Hunt, Victoria Haynes, Jennifer Holmgren, Ellen Stechel, and Sarah Kelly.
This lectureship was established in 2017 by a generous lead gift from Dr. Jonathan L. Sessler, the Doherty-Welch Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, in honor of his colleague Kenneth S. Suslick, the Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In addition to the Marvel Lectures and Fuson Visiting Professors, the organic area of the Department of Chemistry has a number of other lectureships and seminars throughout the year. Click here for the Special Lectureships in Organic Chemistry page.