Ernest E. Campaigne


President's Medal for Excellence (1993)
Campaigne and Carmack Laboratory of Organic Chemistry Naming Ceremony
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich
American Association for the Advancement of Science (1958)
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Chemistry


Ernest E. Campaigne earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. He married Jean White, in Chicago, on January 1, 1941. In 1943 he came to Indiana University as Instructor in the Army Specialized Training Program after early teaching and research experience at Northwestern University Dental School, Bowdoin College, the M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research, and the Medical School of the University of Texas. His earliest teaching and research experiences in the environment of a dental school and a cancer hospital perhaps influenced his entire career, for Professor Campaigne combined his principal interest in organic chemistry with a search for new therapeutic agents.

He became Professor of Chemistry in 1953. During his years at Indiana, he taught courses in general chemistry, biochemistry, and organic chemistry, and has contributed to joint efforts in the teaching of pharmacology. He was constantly concerned with the quality of teaching by taking responsibility for the organization and reorganization of many courses, by authoring several textbooks of chemistry, by serving on the Committee on the Improvement of Teaching of the College of Arts and Sciences, by acting as Graduate Advisor of the Chemistry Department and as a member of the Chemistry Department's Policy Committee. He directed the dissertation research of nearly 60 Ph.D. students and 20 M.S. candidates. He followed the careers of his students with close and helpful interest. During his varied pedagogic activities, Professor Campaigne published more than 275 research papers, reviews, and books.

Professor Campaigne had a busy professional life at the state, national, and international levels. He was an active member and often a chief administrative officer of numerous scientific and professional societies, where his extremely effective organizational skills were widely recognized. He devoted years of service to the American Chemical Society, beginning with the Southern Indiana Section, as Chairman and Circuit Lecturer and later as a national Councilor. This activity led him to a series of increasingly responsible administrative positions, including that of Chairman, with the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. From these national activities he became Chairman of the newly created Section on Medicinal Chemistry, Division of Organic Chemistry, of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Dr. Campaigne was the holder of fifteen commercial patents including the commercially successful antihistamine, Thenfadil.

After retirement in 1979, he was active in the Indiana Academy of Science, serving as president in 1986, the University Club, the Indiana University Retirement Community, and the I.U. Annuitants Association. He served on the Board of Science Advisors, American Council on Science and Health since its inception in 1979, and was elected to the honorary Indiana Academy in 1988. On a University level, Professor Campaigne twice served as President of the Men's Faculty Club, as a member of the University Athletics Committee, and a member of the initial University Patent Policy Committee. He was awarded the Indiana University President's Medal for Excellence in Teaching and Research by President Thomas Ehrlich, and The I.U. Laboratory of Organic Chemistry is named for him and his longtime colleague, Marvin Carmack. He was the longest holder of I.U. faculty/staff season football tickets, beginning long before records of such things were kept.

Professor Campaigne's wide circle of former students, faculty and professional colleagues found in him a generous source of wise advice, encouragement, and unfailing good humor. He died May 5, 2013.