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Professor Raymond N. Castle

Raymond Castle

Raymond N. Castle was born on June 24, 1916, in Boise, Idaho where he attended Boise High School and Boise Junior College. A 1938 graduate in pharmacy from the University of Idaho, Southern Branch, in Pocatello, he completed the M.A. degree in Chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1941. Shortly thereafter, he became a Chemistry instructor at the University of Idaho, then in 1943, returned to the University of Colorado in Boulder for a Ph.D. in Chemistry with a minor in Microbiology. After two years as a research chemist at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Castle accepted a position at the University of New Mexico as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He served as chairman of the Chemistry Department from 1963 until 1970, before moving to Brigham Young University as Professor of Chemistry. In 1981, Dr. Castle joined the faculty at University of South Florida as a Distinguished Research Professor. He and his wife, Ada, have been a vibrant part of the Chemistry Department, and for many years sponsored the Castle Lecture Series, which brought in numerous prominent scientists for lectures at USF.

A prolific researcher, Dr. Castle was an internationally recognized father figure in heterocyclic chemistry, both for his research and his involvement in meetings, symposia, and editorial boards. In 1964 he founded the Journal of Heterocyclic Chemistry and served as its editor. He also edited the Lectures in Heterocyclic Chemistry series, a publication of plenary lectures given at the International Congresses of Heterocyclic Chemistry, and as the American advisory editor for the English translation of the Russian Journal of Heterocyclic Compounds. He was in great demand as a speaker, lecturing at hundreds of institutions worldwide. He was general chairman of the First International Congress of Heterocyclic Chemistry held in Albuquerque (1967), secretary of the Second International Congress held in Montpellier, France (1969), vice-president of subsequent congresses held in Sendai, Japan, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, and Tehran, Iran. He was chairman and committee member for the American Chemical Society. In addition, he was cofounder of the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry, which he served as chairman of the executive committee, and president (1973-1975). Professor Castle received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious International Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry (1983) for outstanding contributions to the field of heterocyclic chemistry, presented in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Castle was listed in the first edition of Whos Who in World Science and in Whos Who in the World.

The Chemistry Department remains deeply indebted to Professor Castle for his many outstanding contributions to the Department, and to science overall. He would have been a strong supporter of this student symposium, and thus, it is fitting that we dedicate this and future symposia to his memory.