Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Department of Chemistry, 1882
The Department of Chemistry was established in 1882 under the guidance of Professor Arthur Michael.
Although courses in chemistry were first offered in 1865, it was not until 1882 that it was officially designated as a department. Professor Arthur Michael, at the time the only chemistry professor at Tufts, was designated head of the department. Under his guidance, the department grew and gained recognition internationally.
Originally located in the basement of Ballou Hall, the growing department was soon forced to shift its facilities. New lab facilities were constructed on Boston Avenue, and parts of and Bromfield Pearson were used for classes and department offices.
In 1894, Tufts awarded its first B.S. in chemistry, making it one of the earliest schools to offer such a degree. The degree program also made Tufts one of the first schools officially accredited by the American Chemical Society.
By 1915, twenty-five percent of Tufts' undergraduate population was majoring in chemistry and, by 1923, the department had so completely outgrown its facilities that a new building was constructed. The Pearson Chemical Laboratory became the new home of the department offices, and also included classroom and laboratory space. Pearson remained the sole chemistry building on campus until the 1965 construction of the Arthur Michael Chemistry Laboratory expanded research facilities and opportunities.
As of 2000, the Department of Chemistry remains in Pearson and Michael Laboratories, and chemistry remains a popular major at Tufts.
Source: Univ. Collection L/A box 03
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