Dr. Cherry Logan Emerson
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Mr. Emerson, Chemist and Alumnus, was awarded the Honorary
Degree of Doctor of Science at the One Hundered Forty-ninth Commencement
of Emory University on May Ninth, Nineteen Hundered Ninety-four.
Cherry Emerson knew his multiplication tables before he started school,
he knew calculus before he went to Boys' High in Atlanta, and he knew
that the Emory
Chemistry Department must have a supercomputing center to remain among
the leading chemistry programs in the world. That is why he endowed a
chair in chemistry to recruit one of the world's foremost quantum chemists
and experts in high-speed computation, and why he established The Cherry
L. Emerson Center for Scientific Computation to provide powerful computing
resources for Emory researchers in a variety of disciplines. The Center underwent an expansion in 2001.
Although his grandfather was the founding dean of the School of Engineering
and chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Georgia
Tech, and his father was a Georgia Tech engineer, Cherry Logan Emerson
chose to matriculate at Emory in 1934. He earned his master's degree in
organic chemistry in 1939, then went to the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology to study chemical engineering with Professor
Warren K. Lewis. In 1942 he married Professor Lewis' daughter, Mary.
During World War II, Mr. Emerson worked for Monsanto
Chemical Company, supervising the production of ethyl alcohol for
the U.S. Navy. Later
he and colleague William R. Cuming began Emerson-Cuming, the nation's
first formulator of epoxy resins that produced a variety of plastics by
adding different curing agents and filler materials. Their products were
used in items ranging from electric coffe pots to pumps for deep oil-well
drilling. Pioneering the development of the microballoon, the company
also became involved in spacecraft and Stealth aircraft technology.
After retirement, the Emersons relocated to Atlanta and became active
in Emory's Friends of Music and the Board of Visitors. In 1987 the University
awarded Mr. Emerson the Emory Medal in recognition of his professional
accomplishments and his devotion to the University.