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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

nscb lobby

Change is inevitable.  The picture above is the lobby of the home of our Department at 202 Calhoun Street.  We moved into this facility in time for the beginning of classes in January 2010.  

The study of chemistry has been part of the curriculum at the College from its earliest days.  One of the earliest versions of the periodic chart, "Synoptic Tables", similar to the periodic tables adopted and used today, was developed by Dr. Lewis Reeve Gibbs (1810-1894, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the College of Charleston).  Even though the College of Charleston has changed a lot over the years, and we have changed with it, both the College and our department have tried to maintain our sense of place and purpose throughout the years.  A picture of our campus in 1908 is shown below, and the cistern area in front of Ranolph Hall looks very similar today.  Back in 1908, Chemistry was taught in Randolph Hall, in the center of the picture, and the building on the left was the library (eventually named the Towell Library after Edward Towell, 1913-2003, Professor of Chemistry.  Professor Towell received his B.S. in chemistry from the College in 1934).  The Towell Library was ultimately replaced by the Robert Scott Smalls library and then by the Addlestone library on Calhoun Street.  The Chemistry department of 1908 has become the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, a unit of the School of Sciences and Mathematics.  The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has moved from Randolph Hall to the Rita Hollings Science Center and now to the facilities at 202 Calhoun Street.  Our department is once again across the street from the library.       

Throughout this time period the disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry have been fundamental to understanding the world around us.  In addition to serving the needs of chemists and biochemists, Chemistry and Biochemistry courses serve as the foundation for many other disciplines, including but not limited to Atmospheric Science, Biology, Dental School, Environmental Science, Forensics, Geology, Material Science, Medical School, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Patent or Environmental law, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology, and Veterinary School. Our students learn fundamental concepts, facts and theories needed to investigate chemical and biochemical problems.  Our students also gain insight into how those concepts, facts and theories are relevant to contemporary life. 

All of this learning occurs in a supportive yet challenging environment where students benefit from a talented, accomplished faculty and staff, state-of-the-art facilities, hands-on use of modern instrumentation and a culture that emphasizes experiential learning and development through participation in faculty mentored research.  We invite you to learn more about the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Charleston. 

2011 was the International Year of Chemistry.


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