First Posthumous Doctorate to Be Awarded at Baylor

April 30, 1999

by LoAna Lopez

WACO, Texas -- For the first time in its history, Baylor University will present a posthumous doctorate to honor the academic accomplishments of former student Arvie Kuehn during commencement at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 15. Kuehn was completing her doctoral studies in chemistry when she died of cancer in September 1997.

A posthumous doctorate and a doctoral hood will be presented to Kuehn's parents, Edwin and Arvie Caughfield of Combs, and her daughter, Becky Kuehn, a chemistry graduate of M.I.T."There has never been any doubt in my mind that had her health been normal, Arvie would have completed all the doctoral requirements," said Dr. Kenneth Busch, chemistry professor and co-director of Kuehn's research group at Baylor. "This is why I felt awarding the degree was a justifiable thing to do."

According to Busch, Kuehn had completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree except for completing her written dissertation. However, Kuehn's research was already published in two academic journals, and she had presented papers on her research at science meetings. Also, the results of the studies conducted by Kuehn's research group, which examined ways to accurately measure the chlorine content of sea water, resulted in the issuance of a U.S. patent.

According to Cindy Dougherty, assistant provost for academic services, Drs. Kenneth and Marianna Busch, co-directors of Kuehn's research group, Dr. Larry Lyon, dean of the graduate school, and President Robert B. Sloan Jr. will present the doctoral degree and hood to Kuehn's family.

For more information, contact Dougherty at (254) 710-3663.

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