chemical fraternity celebrates its 50th anniversary

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    Three of Alpha Chi Sigma's founders a t the recent conclave in Madison: F . J. Petura ( r igh t ) , president of Westfield Federa l Savings and Loan Association, J. H. Mathews, retiring head of the University of Wisconsin chemistry department, and H. E. Eggers, professor of pathology at the University of Nebraska college of medicine

    C&EN REPORTS: Alpha Chi Sigma, Biennial Conclave

    Chemical Fraternity Celebrates its 50 fh Anniversary

    2 2 5 members return to site of founding, elect officers, tour labs, initiate honor member , Johan Bjorksten

    MADISON, WIS.-Alpha Chi Sigma chemical fraternity celebrated its 50th anniversary recently by returning for its biennial conclave to the site of its found-ing, the University of Wisconsin campus. Approximately 285 members registered for the conclave, attended the meetings, in-itiated an honorary member, and toured Wisconsin's Forest Products Laboratory and its Alumni Research Foundation.

    At the 50th anniversary session, mem-bers heard the three living founders (there were nine) reminisce about the fraternity's early days on the UW campus. Since its origin 50 years ago, Alpha Chi Sigma has expanded to include nearly 25,000 mem-bers. J .H. Matthews, retiring head of t he U W chemistry depar tment and one of the founders, showed slides of some early members, fraternity activities, and shots of the campus. The other founders present at the meeting were F. J. Petura, president of the Westfield Savings and Loan Association, Westfield, N . J., and Harold E . Eggers, professor of pathology a t the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

    Johan Bjorksten Initiated Honor initiate at the conclave was Johan

    Bjorksten, president of Bjorksten Research Laboratories in Madison. Speaking a t his initiation, Dr. Bjorksten said he thought one of the greatest weaknesses of today's research system is the existence of com-mittees for decisions on research paths or grants. The tendency, he feels, is one of preference for the unimaginative project which seems certain to yield at least some results over the imaginative departure

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    which will probably fail but might open entirely new fields to science. To illus-trate his point, Dr. Bjorksten said that he knew of a project which has some chance of solving the basic problem of aging and

    ; which was turned down by all logical health agencies. Indications of possible support d id not come until the problem was reversed and presented as a chemical weapon, which might be used to speed the aging processes of the enemy.

    New Officers

    New officers elected for 1952-53 are: president, Merle Griffin, Shell Chemical; reelected secretary, John Kuebler; first vice president, Walter Schrenk; second vice president, J. Caspar Schwarz; and third vice president, Ron Warren.

    Chapters of the fraternity that won effi-ciency cups for the greatest progress in the past two years were : Nu chapter at Pennsylvania State College, the best house chapter; and for the best nonhouse chapter, the University of Arkansas' Alpha Sigma chapter.

    Professional members of the fraternity agreed to assess their dues at $3.00 per member per year to finance the professional program of the fraternity and permit addi-tional activities. For the ACS award, members will again be asked to make a $3.00 contribution for the next three years. Funds for the 1953 award are now in hand.


    Alpha Chi Sigma was organized at the University of Wisconsin late in 1902 by a group of undergraduates who were fel-low students in chemistry courses at the time. T h e first members were: J. H . Matthews, J. G. Holty, A. E . Kundert, F . J. Petura, B. E . McCormick, R. T. Conger, H. E. Eggers , E. G. Mustav, and J. C. Silverthorn.

    In April 1904, the second chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma was organized at the University of Minnesota. Case Institute of Technology organized the third chapter on its campus in 1906 and shortly there-after three more chapters were instituted.

    In 1904 the first biennial conclave was held at Wisconsin and none was held in 1906. Conclaves were all held in Madison until 1916, when the fraternity met in Evanston, 111. At the 1922 conclave the fraternity reorganized itself into collegiate and professional branches and the various alumni organizations, for the most part , have become professional chapters.

    Since 1939, Alpha Chi Sigma has sup-ported t h e ACS Award in Pure Chemistry financially. Other activities of the Society include publication of five issues of the Hexagon each year and an active safety program.

    C H E M I C A L A N D E N G I N E E R I N G N E W S

    THE CHEMICAL WORLD THIS WEEKChemical Fraternity Celebrates its 50fh AnniversaryJohan Bjorksten InitiatedNew OfficersHistory


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