L. Carroll King Memorial Lectures

The L. Carroll King Memorial Lecture Series was established in 2001 by Sybil E. and Edward C. Ferguson III. They did so in appreciation for Prof. King’s dedication to education and innovation in chemistry. L. Carroll King was born in 1914 in Maryvale, Utah. He received a BS degree from Utah State University in 1936 and a Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 1942. He joined the faculty at Northwestern in 1942.

At Northwestern Professor King was a devoted educator. He served on many departmental and College committees, his concern for pedagogy and his outstanding teaching has had an impact on large numbers of Northwestern students. In 1955 he developed one of the first courses anywhere for the gifted chemistry student and he authored numerous articles dealing with subject matter, methodology of instruction, lecture demonstrations, and experiments for chemistry courses.

Professor King’s reputation as a teacher was recognized nationally and internationally. He served as a Visiting Associate for the ACS Committee on Professional Training for 16 years; directed the ACS Foreign Visiting Scientist Program for three years; participated as Visiting Lecturer at NSF Summer Institutes for secondary school chemistry and science courses; was appointed Director of the Chicago Section of ACS during 1953-55, Chairman of the NSF Advisory Council on College Chemistry, and Director of the Chicago Area NSF CHEM Studies Project; and a leader in various programs and conferences devoted to chemical education in India, Argentina and Japan. King was the first Chicago area chemist to appear on Chicago Educational Television (1955) and he later appeared on “The Reviewing Stand” (Mutual Broadcasting System). For 1961-1962 he was elected Chairman of the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. The 40th Science and Engineering Open House at Northwestern in 1987 was dedicated to Carroll King in recognition of his starting “High School Night” in 1944 and giving annual lecture demonstrations seen by an estimated 75,000 visitors. In 1969 he received the American Chemical Society Award in Chemical Education, “in recognition of an impressive record of multilateral contributions to chemical education, both at home and abroad, as teacher, lecturer, and administrator of chemical education programs,” and in 1988 the Chicago Area Sigma Xi Award was presented to King for his many contributions to chemistry and chemical education.

Professor King was among the first Northwestern faculty to have research supported by the National Institutes of Health. One of Professor King’s discoveries, the reaction of ketones with iodine and nitrogenous bases, came to be known as the “King reaction,” perhaps the only reaction named for a Northwestern chemist, and a patent for the reaction was issued to Northwestern. Professor King synthesized various compounds designed for the prevention of sickle cell anemia in collaboration with Irving Klotz. In 1969 he was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor King retired from active teaching and research in 1988.

Past King Lectures


Anne McCoy

Ohio State University


Brian P. Coppola

University of Michigan


James G. Anderson

Harvard University


Luis A. Echegoyen

University of Texas at El Paso


Joseph S. Francisco

Purdue University


Geraldine Richmond

University of Oregon


Nicholas Turro

Columbia University


James E. Hutchison

The University of Oregon


Angelica M. Stacy

University of California, Berkeley


Herbert Roesky



Arthur B. Ellis

National Science Foundation


Richard Zare

Stanford University