Edward G. High


College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award (1980)
Indiana University Bloomington
A.B. (1940), A.M. (1941), Ph.D. (1950)


Born in Indianapolis, IN, on January 4, 1919, Dr. Edward G. High embarked on a long career in the field of biochemistry and nutrition. Dr. High was a force in the study of nutrition in relation to different ethnicities and was a long-time member and chairman of the Biochemistry and Nutrition Department at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. His primary research was devoted to the study of the metabolism and mode of action of carotene and vitamin A. He also conducted international and national nutrition surveys, and contributed to the examination of the extent of nutrition education in medical schools in this country.

Dr. High graduated from Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, IN, and spent his entire higher education at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He received an A.B. in Chemistry (1940), A.M. in Organic Chemistry (1941), and Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry (1950). He taught and researched at a number of institutions before joining the faculty at Meharry in 1953, including Prairie View A & M College, North Carolina College, Columbia University, Purdue University and the University of Michigan. In 1959, Dr. High was promoted to Professor of Biochemistry at Meharry and eventually became the chairman of the department in 1967.

Throughout his career, Dr. High conducted numerous surveys for the study of nutrition all over the world and participated in various committees devoted to improving the knowledge of health and nutrition in the United States. He surveyed in Latin America, South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa for his studies, becoming an active participant in the international community. Dr. High served on many committees for the last two decades of his life, most notably the National Advisory Council on Aging of the NIH (1983-1986).

Also during the last twenty years of his life, Dr. High became increasingly involved in alumni relations at Indiana University. He served two terms as a member of the Executive Committee of the Indiana University Alumni Association from 1972-1979. He became the president of the Association for the year of 1981-1982, in which he spoke at many meetings of alumni clubs all over the United States. From these times, Dr. High made two significant contributions to alumni relations at IU. First, he was a key organizer of the Alumni Institute (currently the IU MiniUniversity), now one of the largest alumni continuing educational programs today. Second, he was a leader in the establishment of the Neal-Marshall Club, a then-new group organized to encourage black alumni to participate in the Indiana University Alumni Association. Along with his work in alumni relations, Dr. High was active in the Association of Indiana University Chemists.

Dr. High was married to Kathryn Weston Toole in 1943 and they had five daughters and one adopted son.