Purdue University Honors Its First Black Ph.D.

In 1967 William E. Moore, a graduate of Southern University in Louisiana, was awarded a Ph.D. in physical biochemistry at Purdue University. He was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Purdue’s College of Sciences.

Now, in his honor, the university has endowed the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science and Chemistry. Moore is currently a professor at Southern University. The first holder of the endowed chair will be Joseph S. Francisco, a professor of atmospheric chemistry. Professor Francisco, an African American, is a graduate of the University of Texas. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT.