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April 29, 2018 at 9:54 am

Alumni News | Denham Passes, Grew Chemistry Department at Hiram College

Joseph M. Denham, who earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1956—the first Ph.D. to be granted at Ohio University after the doctoral programs were created in the mid-1950s—passed away in April at the age of 88, according to a Pike County Courier obituary.

In early 1952, at the height of the Korean Conflict, Joe entered the United States Army, but not before he was bitten by the college-teaching bug during a post-grad stint at the newly founded Orange County Community College in Middletown, N.Y. Because of his background in the sciences, Joe served stateside in several Army technical research and development units. A highlight of his army years was a trip to the Nevada desert to witness an atomic bomb detonation.

Upon his discharge from the Army, Joe started graduate school at Ohio University in Athens, specializing in organic chemistry and graduating in 1959 with OU’s first-ever Ph.D….

In 1958 — even before graduating — Joe launched his teaching career at the innovative, liberal-arts-focused Hiram College and received tenure after three years. Over his 35-year Hiram career, he was instrumental in growing the chemistry department into a key element of Hiram’s nationally recognized science curriculum….

Read more about Denham in the Pike County Courier.




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