Lynne L. Merritt, Jr.
- Honorary Degree (1988)
Doctor of Science
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich
- President's Medal for Excellence (1987)
Presenter: John W. Ryan
- Fulbright Award (1962)
- Location: France
Indiana University Bloomington
- Guggenheim Fellow (1955)
- Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Chemistry
BIOGRAPHYLynne L. Merritt, Jr., was born on September 10, 1915, in Alba, Pennsylvania. From Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in both chemistry and physics in 1936 and a Master of Science degree in 1937. From 1939 to 1942, Lynne was an instructor in chemistry at Wayne State University, and in 1940 he received a Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry from the University of Michigan.
In 1942, Dr. Merritt, with his wife (Lucille) and two young children, moved to Bloomington, where he took a job as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He became a full professor in 1953. As a faculty member at IU, Lynne developed a course dealing with instrumental methods of analysis. Later, after introducing a course on radiochemical methods of analysis, he assisted a number of colleagues in their use of isotopes as tracers for investigations of a variety of chemical and biochemical reactions, and he played a seminal role in the creation of a Radiochemistry Building next to the Chemistry Building. Over the years, Lynne focused his own research program on the preparation and characterization of reagents for chemical analysis, embracing the technique of X-ray crystallography as a tool for determining the structures of molecules, and providing the impetus for the eventual creation of the internationally recognized Molecular Structure Center in the Department of Chemistry. Not to be overlooked is Lynne's passion for computational methods, first experienced during a sabbatical semester at the California Institute of Technology in 1949 - 1950. Upon returning from that leave, Lynne quickly took the initiative in the development of a University-wide research computing system that ultimately became the Wrubel Computing Center. Across the nation and around the world, Lynne became most well known as coauthor of the highly acclaimed textbook, INSTRUMENTAL METHODS OF ANALYSIS, six editions of which appeared over the years from 1948 to 1981.
Dr. Merritt began his administrative service as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1959 and became Associate Dean of the Faculties in 1962. From 1963 to 1964, he was Acting Dean of the Faculties. In 1965, he began a 10-year term as Vice President and Dean of Research and Advanced Studies. From 1975 to 1980, he took on the duties of Special Assistant to the University President and Dean for Research Coordination and Development, and he retained the former position after reaching administrative retirement age in 1980. He became acting University Grand Marshal in 1978 and assumed full responsibility for that position in 1980. After his general retirement in 1982, Lynne commuted regularly from Bloomington to teach chemistry at Indiana University Northwest, and he served twice as Acting Dean of Academic Affairs for that campus.
Dr. Merritt was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1955 - 1956 and a Fulbright Fellowship in 1963 - 1964. In 1959, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne State University and in 1988 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Indiana University. He was on the Advisory Committee on Analytical Chemistry for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1957 - 1961), the Committee on Analytical Chemistry of the National Research Council (1960 - 1963), and the Advisory Committee for the Chemistry Section of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (1953 - 1973). He held memberships in the American Chemical Society and the American Crystallographic Association. He was also a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, of the Indiana Academy of Science, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He was the first director of the Bureau of Institutional Research at Indian University. He also played important roles in the formation of the Developmental Training Center, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the International Activities Center (which he later directed). In connection with the last of these, he traveled to nearly 40 countries throughout the world, working particularly with universities in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, and Thailand. Lynne represented Indiana University through his membership and leadership roles in numerous educational organizations: Board of Trustees of the Universities Research Association, Board of Directors of Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities, Advisory Council of the Organization for Tropical Studies, Board of Directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Council on Federal Relations of the Association of American Universities, and National Council of University Research Administrators. He also served as Campus Coordinator for the USAID/IU Higher Education Administration Project at Kabul University and for the Ford Foundation/IU project at the University of Islamabad. For eight years he was a member of the Indiana State Scholarship Commission, and he was on the Board of Overseers of St. Meinrad College and Seminary for nine years.
Dr. Merritt died in Bloomington on January 11, 2001, at the age of 85.