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Mon, 10.23.1972

The National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers is Formed

*The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers or NOBCChE is celebrated on this date in 1972. 

NOBCChE was co-founded in 1972 by a group of chemists and chemical engineers.  They are a nonprofit, professional organization.  Their goal is to increase the number of minorities in science, technology, and engineering fields. The organization accomplishes this by creating bonds with professionals working at science-related companies and faculty at local school districts in order to get more minorities to pursue a career in science and engineering fields. NOBCChE focuses on establishing diversity programs for the professional development of young kids and to spread knowledge in science and engineering. NOBCChE chapters can be found nationwide.  

Founders of NOBCChE were:  Dr. Joseph N. Cannon, Chemical Engineer, Prof. - Howard University, Dr. Lloyd Ferguson, Chemist, Prof. - California State University, Dr. William M. Jackson, Chemist, Prof. - Howard University, Dr. William Guillory, Chemist, Prof. - Drexel University, Dr. Henry C. McBay, Chemist, Prof. - Morehouse College, Dr. Charles Merideth, Chemist, Chancellor, The Atlanta University Center, Inc. and Dr. James Porter, Chemical Engineer, Prof. – MIT. 

Initially, the organization was financially aided by the Haas Community Fund and Drexel University. After receiving positive feedback and interest from other black chemists and chemical engineers, the founders decided to expand on their idea and set up a structured idea of what they wanted the society to emphasize. Two years later, the first national meeting was held in New Orleans, LA. At the conference, Black chemists and chemical engineers found that they could discuss career-related issues with others who were in similar fields.

Today, the national conference features various workshops, research presentations, and high school science bowls. NOBCChE also presents the Percy L. Julian Award, given to Black scientists who have made significant contributions to the areas of pure or applied research in science or engineering.  We chose this date to align with National Mole Day which recognizes a special number in chemistry. We’ll eliminate any visions of a burrowing creature celebration immediately. Chemists and chemistry students mark the occasion annually on October 23rd.  

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