Prof. Ernest H. Swift,
Chairman, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,
California Institute of Technology
The Richard C. Tolman Medal was established by the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society in 1960 in honor of Dr. Tolman who served the California Institute of Technology for many years as the Dean of Graduate Studies. Dr. Tolman was a distinguished physical chemist with varied interests including relativity, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. He served as Vice-Chairman of the National Defense Research Committee during the war and was scientific advisor to General Groves of the Manhattan Project.
Each year, the Chairman of the Southern California Section appoints a chairman of the Tolman Award Committee. Together, they select the other four members of the committee. Normally, two of the members will be academic, two will be from industry, and two of the total five will have served on the committee previously. The identity of the membership of the committee is not disclosed. The committee selects the recipient from among those nominated for the award. Any member of a section in the southern area of California may make a nomination, the deadline for the 1962 award having been January 8, 1963. The nominees are required to be residents of the area, and to have made their contributions from this area as well. Nominees are judged on the basis of broad accomplishment in chemistry, past and continuing, for achievements in fundamental studies or in practical applications with a broad impact, for superior teaching if in the academic world, for enlightened administration of major research efforts or in science education, for service to the American Chemical Society at all levels, and for significant service to the United States or any branches or subdivisions at any level. Naturally, with a large number of meritorious nominees and such a broad spectrum to use for criteria, the committee each year is faced with many difficult choices to make. With such keen competition, the worthiness of each recipient has been beyond question, and it has been a real pleasure this year to add the name of Ernest H. Swift to those of William G. Young and Anton B. Burg as Richard C. Tolman Medalists.
The third Tolman Award recipient is a Virginian by birth, July 2, 1897, and received his early training at Randolph-Macon College and at the University of Virginia, receiving his B.S. in 1918. During Wold War I he served as a Second Lieutenant after attending Officers Training Camp. In 1919 he arrived in Pasadena as a Teaching Fellow and has remained ever since. He received the M.S. the following year and advanced to an instructorship. In 1924 he was awarded the Ph.D. The advancement through the ranks came slowly, a characteristic of those days, but be became Professor in 1943. In 1958 be became Chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Dr. Swift has about 70 publications to his credit including four books on qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Professor Swift has been honored before, notably by the Fisher Award in Analytical Chemistry, 1955, “for outstanding contributions to the science of analytical chemistry, pure or applied, in the United States or Canada,” by the Honor Scroll of the Western Chapter of the American Institute of Chemists, 1961, “for the many years devoted to teaching, for the promotion and development of his profession, and for his concern and attention to those within the profession of Chemistry.” He was a Guggenheim Fellow, 1957-1958, and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1962.
The Tolman Award Committee selected Professor Swift as the recipient of the 1962 Medal in recognition of his research contributions to analytical chemistry, his leadership and interest in the development of analytical procedures, and his long and continued interest in teaching as well as for his service to the local and national chemical community, the American Chemical Society and the nation.
Tolman Medal Award and Past Chairman’s Night
Thursday, April 11, 1963
Chapman Park Hotel
615 South Alexandria Street
Free parking across street
Cocktails at 6:30 p.m.
Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Meeting at 8:00 p.m.
Speaker: The Third Tolman Award Recipient,
Professor Ernest H. Swift, Chairman,
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
California Institute of Technology
Subject: Analytical Chemistry: Past, Present, Future
Reservations must be made by 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 1963. May be made by telephoning Secretary ACS, RIchmond 8-7077. Cost $4.00 for those making reservations, $4.24 without.
The Southern California Section was also hosting the National Meeting and the First Western Chemical Show, April 2-4, 1963. Shrine Exposition Hall