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The development of chemistry in the United States is tied closely to the development of chemistry at Columbia University. The figure at the right shows Charles Frederick Chandler, the founder of the modern Columbia chemistry department (4th from the left), and some of the first chemistry graduate students.

The department is housed in three buildings on the Columbia Morningside campus:  Havemeyer Hall, completed in 1898, Chandler Laboratories (1928), and Havemeyer Extension, completed in 1990.  In 1998, at the 100th anniversary of the completion of Havemeyer Hall, the American Chemical Society designated it a National Historic Chemical Landmark.   A description of the history of Havemeyer Hall and of some of the notable chemists and their achievements in the Columbia chemistry department can be found on the ACS Landmarks website.

For more than a century, Columbia chemistry faculty have produced breakthroughs in research, trained many of the leading chemists in the country, and led the growth of chemistry as both an academic discipline and a profession. Columbia has been home to many renowned chemists, among them Nobel Laureates Harold Urey, the discoverer of deuterium and Edward Kimball, a pioneer in the study of cortical steroids. Louis Hammett, the father of physical organic chemistry, and Victor LaMer, the father of colloid chemistry, were longtime members of the department.  This tradition of excellence continues today. Our faculty are recipients of many prestigious awards, and our graduates go on to productive careers at the forefront of modern chemistry research and teaching.