About the Leland Wilson Lectureship

Professor Leland Wilson, as first department head and professor in the Department of Chemistry, left a legacy of professionalism and integrity that the faculty and staff in the department hope to sustain.

Professor Wilson had a profound impact on many students who studied chemistry during the more than 20 years that he was in the department. In addition, he affected the professional development of several of the faculty and staff in the department. The Leland Wilson Lecture Series was initiated in 1997 by colleagues, family, and former students to honor Professor Wilson's many contributions to the Department of Chemistry and the University of Northern Iowa community.

In July 2007, Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, current President of the University of Michigan and Professor Wilson's daughter, made a generous donation of $100,000 to fully endow this lectureship and ensuring its continual funding.

Dr. Paul Kelter was the 2013 Wilson Lecturer. Dr. Kelter is an award-winning teacher and researcher in Chemistry Education. He has worked on both secondary teacher preparation and issues in college chemistry teaching and learning. His interactive discussion was "Why and How Should We Teach Science and Science Methods Classes in the 2010s?".

The Leland Wilson Lecture Series

  • 2012 Dr. Melanie Sanford, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan
  • 2011 Dr. Harry B. Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology
  • 2010 Dr. R. Graham Cooks, Henry B. Hass Distiguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Purdue University
  • 2009 Dr. John Warner, President and Chief Technology Office Warner/Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry
  • 2008 Dr. Richard Zare, Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University
  • 2007 Dr. Geri Richmond, Professor of Chemistry, University of Oregon
  • 2006 Dr. Paul G. Wenthold, Associate Professor, Purdue University
  • 2005 Dr. Charles D. Huff, Staff Emergency Department Physician, Mercy Hospital, Iowa City
  • 2004 Dr. Nancy Wilson Ashbach, M.D., M.B.A., Professor of Health Policy, University of Denver, Family Physician
  • 2003 Dr. John Talley, Microbia, Inc
  • 2002 Dr. Becky Lewis, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. Inc.
  • 2001 Dr. M. Dale Hawley, Professor of Chemistry, Kansas State University
  • 2000 Dr. Steven M. Heilmann, Corporate Scientist, 3M Corporate Research
  • 1999 Dr. Mark J. Kurth, Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Davis
  • 1998 Dr. Robert D. Koob, President, University of Northern Iowa
  • 1997 Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, President, University of Iowa

About Leland Wilson

Professor Leland Wilson, a native of Kentucky, joined the UNI faculty in 1955. He received a B.S. degree from Eastern Kentucky University, the M.S. from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Prior to coming to UNI, Wilson was a high school science teacher in Kentucky and Florida. He served as a radar maintenance officer in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

During his 24 years at UNI, Wilson taught physical science and chemistry, specializing in instrumental analysis, becoming an expert in a number of newly emerging instrumental techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. He was the first Department Head of the newly formed Department of Chemistry in 1968, and served in that capacity until 1975. He retired as professor of chemistry in 1979, and passed away in the summer of 1993 at the age of 79.

He was well respected and popular with both students and colleagues. With an infectious smile and an easy-going style, Wilson was able to motivate even the most reluctant students to expect more of themselves. His sense of fairness, his common sense, and his good nature made him a pleasure to be around.

The Leland Wilson Scholarship Fund was established in 1997 at the University of Northern Iowa. The scholarship fund was initiated by several alumni and friends who wanted to honor and pay tribute to their former teacher and mentor.

If you would like to contribute to the Leland Wilson Scholarship Fund, please contact:

Dr. Laura Strauss, Head
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls IA 50614-0423
Telephone: 319-273-2437
Fax: 319-273-7127
E-mail: Laura.Strauss@uni.edu

 

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Northern Iowa
1227 West 27th Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423
Phone: 319-273-2437
FAX: 319-273-7127
E-mail: barbara.reid@uni.edu
Web: http://www.chem.uni.edu

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