- National Academies (1875)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
Theophilus Adam Wylie was born to Samuel Brown and Margaret Watson Wylie on 8 October 1810, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a young man Wylie was educated at the English Academy of Rev. Dr. S.W. Crawford and at the Wylie and Engles School where he received a classical education. In 1828 Wylie entered the junior class at the University of Pennsylvania where his father was vice provost and a professor of ancient languages. Wylie completed his undergraduate work in 1830 and graduate work in 1833. After graduation Wylie began to teach but also entered the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, following in his father's footsteps, who had served as the pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia for more than fifty years.
In addition to his position as professor of natural philosophy and chemistry from 1837-1852 and 1854-1863, Wylie also served as professor of ancient languages from 1863-1867 and as professor and chair of natural philosophy from 1867-1886. Wylie has been credited for being the first professor to give significant attention to both physics and chemistry at Indiana University, building the campus’ first lab in 1840 and likely holding the first patent affiliated with Indiana University. He was the first faculty member at IU elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, confirming his stature in the national scientific community.
In addition to his role as an educator on campus, Wylie also had many administrative roles on campus including two terms as interim president, superintendent of buildings and grounds, university librarian for 38 years, and service as the first vice president of the university from 1882-1884.
Wylie was an active member of the Bloomington community, serving as pastor in Bloomington’s Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1869, Wylie’s congregation joined the United Presbyterian congregation and together they built a new church in 1872 at the northeast corners of 9th Street and College Avenue. Theophilus Wylie died at home on 9 June 1895.