Joullié Receives Honorary Degree

Madeleine Joullié, Professor of Chemistry

Madeleine Joullié, Professor of Chemistry, received an honorary degree from Temple University and spoke at Temple’s College of Science and Technology graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, held on May 6, 2021. An honorary degree is the highest honor bestowed by Temple.

Born in Paris and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Joullié earned her Ph.D. at Penn in 1953. She became the first female organic chemist to be appointed to a tenure-track position in a major American university. She has authored or coauthored 300 papers and three textbooks, synthesized dozens of compounds used in medical treatments and fingerprint analysis, and received more than 30 honors and awards, including the 2015 John Scott Award and the 2016 George Washington Carver Award. As a member of the Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society, she helped develop professional guidelines for chemists and pressed for equal opportunity.

Joullié serves on the College of Science and Technology’s Board of Visitors. During her talk to the graduates, she acknowledged the difficulties faced by the Class of 2020, and said, “Don’t be afraid of the future … We now have the opportunity to change the world, and importantly, the choices we make now are our responsibility.” Joullié also quoted Ben Franklin, whom she called an early hero of hers: “’When you finish changing, you are finished." … I would advise you, challenge yourself and you will reach new heights.”

To read more about Joullié and her groundbreaking career, click here.


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