Independent Minds, Working Together

William F. Kieffer

The Department of Chemistry at The College of Wooster regrets to report that emeritus professor Dr. William (Bill) F. Kieffer passed away in December 2012 at the age of 97.

Bill received the following degrees: B.A. Wooster (1936), M.Sc. Ohio State (1938), and Ph.D. Brown (1940). Bill taught introductory and physical chemistry as well as an extremely popular course in chemistry for non-majors at Wooster for 36 years (1940-42; 1946-1980). He was highly regarded both in terms of his teaching and from his service as Editor of the Journal of Chemical Education from 1955-1967. He wrote three significant textbooks including The Mole Concept in Chemistry, Reinhold, 1962; Chemistry, A Cultural Approach, Harper & Row, 1971; and Chemistry Today, Canfield Press, 1976.

He won two of the highest awards for teaching; the Manufacturing Chemists' Association, College of Chemistry Teachers Award (1965) and the ACS Award in Chemical Education (1967). According to the Manufacturing Chemists' Association, "Dr. Kieffer's influence as a teacher has extended far beyond the limits of a small campus. As Chairman of the American Chemical Society's Advisory Committee on the nationally televised 'Continental Classroom' series on chemistry, he led an audiovisual campaign to expand and revolutionize high school instruction in the field. As a speaker before high school and college groups, and as a participant in summer institutes, he has no peer. As visiting scientist or consultant to many schools and colleges, his service has been distinguished. He is an important member of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Advisory Council on college chemistry, established to promote effective chemistry instruction in institutions of higher learning. He is a prolific author, too, and his book, The Mole Concept in Chemistry is widely used."

Bill's time at The College of Wooster overlapped with the service of deceased emeriti Professors Chittum, Grady, Reinheimer, and Williams and with the service of emeriti Professors Borders, Bromund, Gaus, Haynes, and Powell. Emerita Professor Pett was a student of Bill and began her service at Wooster as his replacement.