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Dr. Percy L. Julian, Renowned Chemist, Posthumously Appointed to DePauw University Chemistry Faculty

Dr. Percy L. Julian – 1920 DePauw University valedictorian and renowned chemist denied a faculty appointment at his alma mater – was posthumously appointed to DePauw’s chemistry faculty by the DePauw Board of Trustees. His appointment is for academic years 1933-34 through 1936-37.

Dr. Percy L. JulianDr. Percy L. Julian

Julian, who was born 1899 and died in 1975, produced more than 130 patents and multiple scientific discoveries.

His research made possible synthetic production of large amounts of cortisone to treat inflammatory conditions, developed a fire-suppressing foam and developed steroids for use in birth control and miscarriage prevention.

He was hired by DePauw to be a research fellow but was denied a tenure-track position because of his race.

Julian was the third African American in the U.S. to hold a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Julian held a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1923 and a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 1931.







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