ACS President: Anna Jane Harrison (1912-1998)

Served as President: 1978

First Woman ACS President

Harrison did work on toxic gases or “smokes” in many environments


• Ph.D., 1940, University of Missouri , Physical Chemistry

Career Highlights:

  • Science teacher, one-room school house, Benton City, Missouri (the same school she attended as a child), 1933-35
  • Instructor, Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 1940-1942
  • Professor of chemistry, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, 1945-1979
  • Retired as professor emeritus and then taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis

Notable Accomplishments:

Noted for chemical research in molecular spectroscopy in the far ultraviolet region of spectrum. International leader in chemical education. Active nationally and internationally as a supporter of women in science.

Major Awards and Honors:

  • Citation of Merit, University of Missouri, College of Arts and Sciences, 1960
  • Manufacturing Chemists Association Award in College Chemistry, 1969
  • James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching of Chemistry, ACS Northeastern Section, 1977
  • ACS Award in Chemical Education, 1982

Service to Science:

  • Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Education, 1971
  • Member, National Science Board, 1972-1978
  • President, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1983-1984
  • Member, Board of Directors, Sigma Xi, 1988-1991
  • Chair, Board of Publications, Journal of Chemical Education, 1960, 1964
  • Editorial Boards, Journal of College Science Teaching and Chemical & Engineering News

Did You Know

. . . that she most often published in combination with students or other Mount Holyoke colleagues?

. . . that she did confidential defense work in the development of field kits for the army to collect and analyze gases during World War II?

Former ACS President Anna Jane Harrison