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Chicago's DuSable Museum of African-American History Features Exhibit on Percy Julian '20

October 30, 2006

Percy Julian Portrait.jpgOctober 30, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - "The article on the exhibit at the DuSable Museum for some reason did not mention the fact that Percy Julian was an undergraduate at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.," writes Mary Stone Dale in a letter published in today's Chicago Sun-Times. Dale, whose husband, Charles H. Dale, graduated from DePauw in 1950, adds, "DePauw has always been very proud of him, and there is a building on campus named for him, too."

The letter can be accessed here.

The article Ms. Dale references appeared in the October 20 edition of the Sun-Times and previewed "a new exhibit featuring the life of the Julians called 'From Dreams to Determination' at the DuSable Museum of African-American History. Andrew Herrmann noted, "The exhibit comes as a biography of Percy Julian, 'Forgotten Genius,' is set to air in February on PBS' NOVA program."

Dr. Julian was a 1920 graduate of DePauw. His daughter, Faith, tells he newspaper: "My dad's motto was, 'Make life better for those who come after you."'

Herrmann writes, "A research chemist who held some 100 patents, Percy Julian discovered an economical way to synthetically produce cortisone, enabling people with rheumatoid arthritis to regain the use of their limbs. The grandson of a slave, Percy Julian also uncovered ways to use soybeans in the manufacture of hormones and vitamins. Born in 1899 in Alabama, he went on to attend Harvard University and the University of Vienna and became a millionaire."

Percy Lavon Julian served as a member of DePauw's Board of Trustees, and the University's Science and Mathematics Center is named in his honor. Last month, the American Chemical Society -- which provided funding to support "Forgotten Genius" -- honored Dr. Julian with a symposium at the ACS' 232nd national meeting. Neal B. Abraham, executive vice president of DePauw, was among the presenters.

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