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Archives/History

Founding

The ACS Organic Chemistry Division (ORGN) was officially established in 1910 (chaired by Edward Curtis Franklin).

A detailed history written by H. L. Fisher of the start of the Division is available:
Ind. Eng. Chem., 1951, 43 (2), pp 289–294

Picture of the Founder of ORGN: Franklin
Edward Curtis Franklin
(1862 - 1937)

Historical Events of the Division

1908 December 31, 1908, The division was given a temporary organization by ACS with the election for one year of a chairman, Richard S. Curtiss, and a vice chairman and secretary, Ralph H. McKee
1910 The ACS Division of Organic Chemistry was officially chartered
1925 The First National Symposium on Organic Chemistry (NOS) was held in Rochester, N. Y.
1927 The Second National Symposium on Organic Chemistry was held in Columbus, Ohio
1936 The Division sponsors the creation of the Journal of Organic Chemistry
1959 The Rogers Adams Award is established and Sir Derek H. R. Barton is the first recipient
1973 The first Arthur C. Cope Award was made to Roald Hoffmann and Robert B. Woodward
1981 The Graduate Fellowship Program was initiated
1985 ORGN starts to distribute Organic Syntheses (with Vol. 62) free to its members
1986 The Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards Program was initiated
1989 The Division partnered with Johnson & Johnson to start a travel awards program to support Outstanding Students and Faculty at Undergraduate Institutions to attend the ACS National and NOS meetings
1990 Received the ACS Award for Outstanding Performance by Divisions in recognition of its service to its members and its meritous contributions to the profession and the public understanding of chemistry.
1992 The Technical Achievement Award in Organic Chemistry (TAOC) Program was initiated
1994 With financial help from Bayer, the Gassman Award program was started and the first award was given to Nelson Leonard
1995 The Leete award was endowed and David N. Harpp is the first recipient
1999 Organic Letters debuts at the 36th NOS with Amos B. Smith, III as editor-in-chief
2007 The Gassman Award was endowed by Midwest Pharmaceuticals
2008 ORGN Holds Electronic Elections for the first time
2008 ORGN Celebrates its Centennial at the 236th National ACS Meeting with a Symposium Dedicated to the history of organic chemistry
2009 ORGN Awards Summer Undergradaute Research Fellowships (SURF) for the first time
2009 ORGN forms a partnership with the Reaction Mechanisms Conference (RMC)
2009 43 members of the Division of Organic Chemistry, were selected as Inaugural ACS Fellows
2010 ORGN redesigns its website and adds a members only area
2010 ORGN holds its First Graduate Research Symposium (GRS) at Boston College
2013 ORGN partners with Jeff Seeman for second time to provide a second series of Eminent Organic Chemist Videos
2013 ORGN Creates the Undergraduate Award Program to recognize senior students

Past Presidents of ACS who were affiliated with ORGN

  • 2005 William F. Carroll, Jr. (1952 - ) ORGN Member
  • 2004 Chuck Casey (1942- ) - NOS Speaker 1985 and Cope Scholar in 1988
  • 1999 Edel Wasserman (1932- ) - ORGN Councilor 1983-88
  • 1997 Paul S. Anderson (1938- ) 
  • 1996 Ronald Breslow (1931- ) - NOS Speaker 1961, 1969, 1979, 1987, 2003 and Gassman Awardee in 2006
  • 1992 Ernest L. Eliel (1921- 2008) - ORGN Chair 1974
  • 1990 Paul G. Gassman (1935-1994) - ORGN Councilor 1983-88, ORGN Chair 1981
  • 1972 Max Tishler - NOS Speaker 1953
  • 1971 Melvin Calvin - NOS Speaker 1955
  • 1965 Charles C. Price - NOS Speaker 1947, 1957
  • 1962 Karl A. Folkers - NOS Speaker 1941, 1949
  • 1961 Arthur C. Cope (1909-1966) - ORGN Secretary 1940-44, ORGN Chair 1947
  • 1959 John C. Bailar, Jr. - NOS Speaker 1955
  • 1957 Roger J. Williams - NOS Speaker 1941
  • 1954 Harry L. Fisher - NOS Speaker 1925
  • 1952 Edgar C. Britton - NOS Speaker 1933
  • 1947 W. Albert Noyes, Jr. (1898-1980)
  • 1945 Carl S. Marvel (1894-1988) - ORGN Chairman 1933
  • 1944 Thomas Midgley, Jr. - NOS Speaker 1931
  • 1941 William Lloyd Evans (1870-1954) - ORGN Chair 1928
  • 1938 Frank C. Whitmore (1887-1947) - ORGN Secretary 1925-29, ORGN Chair 1930
  • 1935 Roger Adams (1889-1971) - ORGN Chair 1921
  • 1931 Moses Gomberg (1866-1947) - NOS Speaker 1929,1941
  • 1926 James F. Norris (1871-1940) - NOS Speaker 1925, 1927, 1933
  • 1925 James F. Norris (1871-1940) - NOS Speaker 1925, 1927, 1933
  • 1923 Edward C. Franklin (1862-1937) - Chair 1910 and 1929
  • 1920 William A. Noyes (1857-1941)
  • 1910 Wilder E. Bancroft - NOS Speaker 1933
  • 1908 Marston T. Bogert (1868-1954) - NOS Speaker 1929, 1931, 1935
  • 1907 Marston T. Bogert (1868-1954) - NOS Speaker 1929, 1931, 1935

Chairs of ORGN

1910 Edward C. Franklin
1911 George B. Frankforter
1912-13 Treat B. Johnson
1914-15 F.F. Allen
1916 C. G. Derick
1917 J. R. Bailey
1918 William J. Hale
1919 L. W. Jones
1920 E. Emmett Reid
1921 Roger Adams
1922 Hans T. Clarke
1923 Frank C. Whitmore
1924 R. R. Renshaw
1925 Julius A. Nieuwland
1926 Marston T. Bogert
1927 Frank B. Dains
1928 William Lloyd Evans
1929 Edward C. Franklin
1930 Frank C. Whitmore
1931 James B. Conant
1932 Homer Adkins
1933 Carl S. Marvel
1934 Claude S. Hudson
1935 Arthur J. Hill
1936 Henry Gilman
1937 L. Charles Raiford
1938 Lyndon F. Small
1939 Werner E. Bachmann
1940 Cliff S. Hamilton
1941 Nathan L. Drake
1942 Lee I. Smith
1943 Louis F. Fieser
1944 Ralph L. Shriner
1945-46 Samuel M. McElvain
1947 Arthur C. Cope
1948 Paul D. Bartlett
1949 William G. Young
1950 Ralph W. Bost
1951 William S. Johnson
1952 Robert C. Elderfield
1953 Walter N. Lauer
1954 Max Tishler
1955 A. Harold Blatt
1956 Nelson J. Leonard
1957 John D. Roberts
1958 Melvin S. Newman
1959 Karl A. Folkers
1960 John C. Sheehan
1961 William E. Parham
1962 Stanley J. Cristol
1963 William G. Dauben
1964 Delos F. De Tar
1965 Theodore L. Cairns
1966 Herbert O. House
1967 Gilbert J. Stork
1968 Harry H. Wasserman
1969 Jerrold Meinwald
1970 Frederick G. Bordwell
1971 Ronald Breslow
1972 Jerome A. Berson
1973 Andrew Streitwieser, Jr.
1974 Ernest L. Eliel
1975 Jeremiah P. Freeman
1976 Howard E. Simmons, Jr.
1977 E. C. Taylor
1978 Harold Hart
1979 Andrew Kende
1980 Robert Ireland
1981 Paul Gassman
1982 Al Meyers
1983 J. C. Martin
1984 Peter Beak
1985 Clayton Heathcock
1986 Albert Padwa
1987 Carl R. Johnson
1988 Martin Semmelhack
1989 Patrick Confalone
1990 Victor Snieckus
1991 Joseph Gajewski
1992 James Marshall
1993 Michael Doyle
1994 Frank Davis
1995 William Roush
1996 Amos Smith
1997 Cynthia Maryanoff
1998 Dale Poulter
1999 Ross Johnson
2000 Dennis Curran
2001 Robert Boeckman
2002 William Nugent
2003 Edwin Vedejs
2004 William Greenlee
2005 Huw Davies
2006 Kathy Parker
2007 Barry Snider
2008 Robert Volkmann
2009 Lisa McElwee-White
2010 P. Andrew Evans
2011 Gary Molander
2012 Robert Larsen
2013 Lawrence T. Scott
2014 Christopher J. Welch

Secretary-Treasurers of ORGN

1909 - 10 R. H. McKee*
1911 - 13 William J. Hale*
1914 - 15 C. G. Derick*
1916 - 19 Harry L. Fisher*
1920 Roger Adams*
1921 H. T. Clarke*
1922 Frank C. Whitmore*
1923 R. R. Renshaw*
1924 J. A. Nieuwland*
1925 - 29 Frank C. Whitmore*
1930 - 34 Julian Hill*
1935 - 39 Ralph Shriner*
1940 - 44 Arthur C. Cope*
1945 - 49 Ralph Bost*
1950 - 54 Nelson J. Leonard*
1954 - 59 William Parham*
1960 - 64 Herbert O. House*
1965 - 69 Norman A. LeBel*
1970 - 73 Jeremiah Freeman*
1974 - 77 E. M. Burgess*
1978 - 81 Peter Beak*
1981 - 85 Walter Trahanovsky*
1986 - 89 Joseph Gajewski*
1990 - 93 William Roush
1994 - 96 Dennis Liotta
1997 - 01 Alan Marchand
2002 - 05 James Rigby
2006 - 09 Gary Molander
2010 - 13 Marisa Kozlowski
2014 - Barry Snider

* Also served concurrently as Program Chair

Program Chairs of ORGN

1988 - 91 Frank Davis
1992 - 95 Dan Pasto
1996 - 99 Stan Hall
2000 - 03 Lisa McElwee-White
2004 - 06 Rob Larsen
2007 - 08 William Greenlee
2009 - 10 Scott Sieburth
2011 - 12 Ahmed Abdel-Magid
2013 Bob Gawley
2013 - 14 Ahmed Abdel-Magid

Membership

Year Membership Size
1921 306
1936 397
1937 430
1938 444
1939 441
1940 555
1941 565
1942 673
1943 679
1944 756
1945 715
1946 787
1947 1,002
1948 1,014
2002 18,500
2006 18,000
2010 16,800
2012 15,000

ORGN Officers

A historical list of all the Division's Officers since 1925 is now available as a MS Excel File. The current list of officers including their contact information is available on the Executive Committee Page.


ORGN Archives Available at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Division of Organic Chemistry (ORGN) archives have been transferred to the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF). These archives currently cover the period from 1935 until 1983.  Highlights include scrap books containing forms, reports, memos and other divisional documents kept by six secretary-treasurers covering  a 30 year period from 1934 to 1964: Ralph L. Shriner (1934-39), Arthur C. Cope (1939-1944), Ralph W. Bost (1944-1949), Nelson J. Leonard (1950-1954), William E. Parham (1954-1959) and Herbert O. House (1959-1964). The archives also contain records of the National Organic Symposium from 1937-1983 and many other documents related to the functioning of the division. A finding aid provides more details. Please contact the secretary-treasurer, if you have records or papers that you would like to transfer to the archives so they will be accessible to those interested in the activities of ORGN.