Emma P. Carr '1902, pioneering Physical Organic Chemist

Emma Perry Carr, born July 23, 1880, in Holmesville, Ohio, was a pioneering physical organic chemist who attended Mount Holyoke from 1900 to 1902.

After receiving her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1910, she returned to MHC to teach chemistry, and was appointed Chair of the Chemistry Department in 1913. In 1937, she became the first recipient of the prestigious Garvan Medal, created to recognize distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists.

Carr was a worldwide leader in the use of the ultraviolet spectra of organic molecules as a means of investigating their electronic structures. She led one of the earliest collaborative research groups that involved faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

She retired in 1946 after publishing numerous articles in chemistry journals. In 1955, the Chemistry Building at Mount Holyoke College was dedicated to Emma P. Carr. Carr died January 7, 1972, in Evanston, Illinois.

(Text compiled from the Office of Communications News Story and the MHC Archives. Image of Lucy Pickett on the left and Emma Carr on the right in the lab, Image from the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections.)