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William F. Hart ’27, professor emeritus of chemistry, celebrates his 100th birthday this Sunday, Jan. 8. He touched many generations of students as a member of the faculty of his alma mater for longer than three decades.

“Lafayette has benefited immeasurably from the talent and devotion Professor Hart has demonstrated as a student, alumnus, and teacher,” says President Dan Weiss. “The campus community joins with me in wishing him a very happy birthday. We know it will be a very special occasion for him and for everyone who shares in the celebration with him.”

Hart resides in Bethlehem, Pa. He and classmate Robert Tinsman, who celebrated his 100th birthday Oct. 30 and is also a Bethlehem resident, are the Lafayette family’s centenarians. A third living member of the class of 1927 is John Tucker.

Following graduation from the College, Hart earned an M.A. from Princeton University in 1928, then came back to Lafayette to serve as an instructor in chemistry in 1928-29. He left Easton again to earn a Ph.D. at New York University, completing the work in 1936, then returned to College Hill, this time as a permanent member of the faculty, the following year.

In 1957 Hart became head of the chemistry department, succeeding J. Hunt Wilson ’05, who had served in that role for 19 years. Hart headed the department until 1969. He was elected to emeritus status upon his retirement in 1971.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles