Willard, Mary L. (Mary Louisa), 1898-1993

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Mary L. Willard was born on May 19, 1898 at Penn State in Moffatt Cottage which once stood where the west wing of Pattee Library is now located. Her father, Joseph Moody Willard, was Penn State University professor of mathematics and namesake of the Willard Building. After completing her Bachelor of Science and Master's degrees at Penn State in 1921 and 1923 (in chemistry and organic chemistry, respectively), she went on to earn her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Cornell University in 1927. She returned to Penn State that year to establish a course in chemical microscopy. Full professor by 1948, she served as a mentor to many women in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics and pre-medicine. In 1930 she assisted the State College Police Department in an investigation by analyzing contraband alcohol, and from then on was called upon by the police department to provide her assistance in a variety of cases, including automobile accidents, forgeries, arson, and suicides, among others. She was given the Scroll honor award of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Chemists, the second woman to receive the award, and in 1957 was named an honorary member of the Fraternal Order of Police. In 1965 she was named Penn State Woman of the Year by the University Board of Trustees for her service to society in her study of criminology, and for her devotion to the University and to her field. She passed away in 1993.

From the description of Mary L. Willard papers, 1933-1980. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 319540884

Mary Louisa Willard was a Professor of Chemistry at the Pennsylvania State University. The Daughters of American Colonists is a national organization with state and local chapters to which women over the age of 18 who have an ancestor who served or aided in the American Revolutionary War may join.

From the description of Pennsylvania colonial forts, 1965. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 271690486

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Willard, Mary L. (Mary Louisa), 1898-1993. Pennsylvania colonial forts, 1965. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Willard, Mary L. (Mary Louisa), 1898-1993. Mary L. Willard papers, 1933-1980. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Pennsylvania State University corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pennsylvania--University Park
Chemistry teachers--Archives
Fortification--History--18th century
Chemistry--Study and teaching--Archives


Birth 1898-05-19

Death 1993-04-17


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