Baylor University
Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Arts and Sciences

Origin

THE GOOCH-STEPHENS LECTURES WERE ESTABLISHED as a permanent annual event in recognition of the outstanding contributions of two longtime, highly respected chemistry professors and former department chairmen. Dr. W.T. Gooch became an instructor at Baylor University in 1908 after receiving two degrees from Baylor. His mentor was E.E. Reid, who later became an internationally known chemist at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gooch received his doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Chicago, where he studied with such eminent chemists of that day as Nef and Stieglitz. Dr. Gooch was especially known for his organic chemistry courses, which were taken by all chemistry majors and premedical students. From 1909 to 1949, Dr. Gooch served as chairman of the chemistry department at Baylor University. He died April 21, 1973, at the age of 87. Dr. W.R Stephens, who joined the Baylor faculty in 1922, came to Baylor from Meridian College where he had been dean. Dr. Stephens received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Auburn University and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, where he was associated with some of the best known chemists of that period. Dr. Stephens succeeded Dr. Gooch as chairman of the department in 1949. As chairman, Dr. Stephens enlarged the staff of the chemistry department and, in 1952, initiated and developed the doctor of philosophy program in chemistry. While chairman, Dr. Stephens devoted much of his energy and talents to the details of construction during the building of our former facilities in the Marrs McLean Science Building. He died Jan. 10, 1988, at the age of 95.

Department of Chemistry