The significant achievements and exemplary careers of six graduates from Central Methodist University will be celebrated at Central Methodist University’s 71st annual Alumni Awards banquet on Saturday, May 6. Among them is George K. Schweitzer, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Schweitzer came to UT in 1948 to initiate the inorganic division of the newly-established Ph.D. program in chemistry and to participate in the early UT-Oak Ridge graduate instructional and research program. He has mentored over 130 graduate students, has been elected UT Phi Kappa Phi lecturer, served as UT’s first Mace Bearer, gave the 1996 UT commencement address, has been named a Distinguished Service Professor by the UT Alumni Association and received the Joe Johnson Lifetime Service Award in 2014 in recognition of his 65 years of dedicated service to UT.
Dr. George K. Schweitzer, Class of 1945
Knoxville, Tenn./Hometown: Poplar Bluff, Mo.
The lifetime achievements of CMU Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Dr. George K. Schweitzer of Knoxville, Tenn. abound, and continue to this day. A native of Poplar Bluff, Mo., he earned the first of his six degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, from then-Central College in 1945. His degrees include: MS in Geochemistry, MA in Theology, PhD in Chemistry, PhD in History and Philosophy of Religion, ScD for work in the History of Science.
He began teaching chemistry at the University of Tennessee in 1948 and remains active in the department. Schweitzer also served a faculty fellowship at Columbia University (New York, N.Y.). The author of over
200 scholarly articles and publications, mainly scientific, but including some on the topic of genealogy, he has lectured to over 200 scientific, historical, and genealogical societies and universities in Europe and North America.
While his professional preparation has been in science, Schweitzer also taught university-level course on the Civil War, the History of Religion, the History of Technology, and more. A man of many interests, he has done research in radiochemistry, nanoparticles, PET body scanner detectors, and solvent extraction, and his memberships range from the American Chemical Society to the American Philosophic Association.