The Chemistry Department has a great history at Indiana University since the very early days of the college. Chemistry was first added to the curriculum in 1829 by Andrew Wylie, IU president at the time (1829-1851). The first degrees in chemistry were awarded in 1890. The graduate school at Indiana University wasn’t formally established until 1904 but not soon after, a plan for graduate work in chemistry was underway. However, the first Ph. D. in chemistry wasn’t granted until 1921. A crucial event in the history of the Chemistry Department was in 1931, when the construction of a new facility explicitly for chemistry began which led to major growth within the department. Some of the departments most acclaimed and prolific faculty came to the University during this time. A major staple to the department is the famous Sweetheart tree that has stood outside the Chemistry Building since it was built in 1931. Even when a major addition to the building was made in the 1980s, architects decided to preserve the beloved tree and build around it. A sad day came in the spring of 2018 when the University announced the famous sweetheart tree was dying and removal was scheduled to begin on April 11. IU intends to plant a new tree in its place once the soil has recovered.
Since 1820, Indiana University has been home to broad-minded thinkers, inspiring leaders, and brave community builders. And our story is far from over. As we celebrate IU’s Bicentennial, we’re taking the opportunity to look forward to what comes next.