The society was founded during the regime of Professor Arthur M. Brumback, the first professor of chemistry at Denison, by student assistants of the department.
Members included the department assistants and other students whom the society voted in from time to time. Attendance was strict; members who missed more than two meetings without appropriate excuses risked being dropped from the society. Meetings were held on the first Wednesday of each month. Often they consisted of formal talks or presentations of research papers by students, faculty, or visiting speakers. Topics of the first public meeting, held on December 1, 1909, include, "use of iridium in the manufacture of gold pen points" and "chemical methods of ripening fruit used at Arizona Experimental Station."
When Dr. W. C. Ebaugh was inducted into the society in 1918, he spoke in his "maiden" speech about "the saving of waste materials from smelter smoke." However, by the time of Dr. Ebaugh's arrival at Denison, the society's meetings had already become somewhat less formal. A history of DCS written in 1928 explains why the heavy programs of the early days were short lived:
Such programs were only possible at that date because of the simplicity of life on the campus. There are so many more activities on campus now to claim the attention of students of chemistry. Witness the fact that Granville has an Opera House now, where pictures are shown, even on Prayer-meeting nights.
This historian would probably be shocked by the endless distractions now confronting college students.
Today, the Denison Chemical Society serves the department primarily as a link between students and faculty, between the department and the rest of the university, and between the department and the community. Because formal scientific presentations have been incorporated into the department curriculum, the society now has the freedom to pursue other creative and diverse projects. DCS consists of a talented and motivated group of students whose enthusiasm might surprise even the founding members of the society. In order to bring the work of its members, as well as other chemistry students, faculty, and alumni, to a broader audience, we are delighted to introduce this first annual Journal of the Denison Chemical Society.
Adapted from the Foreword to Volume I, Number 1 of The Journal of the Denison Chemical Society, written by Todd Thrash ’95.
The goals of the Denison Chemical Society are to:
- Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas in chemistry.
- Educate others on the importance and implications of chemistry.
- Promote friendships between faculty members and students.