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Chemistry Professor Marcia France to Give Herwick Professorship of Chemistry Inaugural Lecture

Marcia France, professor of chemistry at Washington and Lee University, will give the Herwick Professorship of Chemistry Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. A reception will follow in the Northen Lobby.

The title of her talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Synthesis of Chiral Ligands for Applications in Asymmetric Catalysis.”

France joined the Washington and Lee faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her master’s degree from Yale University and her Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

France is president of W&L’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. She is also a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research, Virginia Academy of Science and the American Chemical Society. She has supervised over 40 W&L students, as well as two at St. Andrews and two at Caltech.

France was a visiting research scientist in chemistry at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland while on leave from August 2005-August 2006, and the 2007 and 2009 summers. She also was a visiting associate professor at Stanford during the summer of 2000.

France has developed the W&L-St. Andrews Educational Partnership Program for Students in the Sciences and Preparing for the Health Professions which provides a study abroad opportunity in Scotland for pre-medical students as well as chemistry and biology majors. She also conducted an externally funded undergraduate program in the areas of asymmetric organic chemistry, organic synthesis and olefin metathesis.

She has co-authored over 15 articles and has 13 patents. France currently teaches organic chemistry (both lecture and laboratory); organic spectroscopy (both lecture and lab); and advanced organic chemistry.

The John T. Herwick M.D. Professorship in Chemistry was funded by an endowment established in 2009 through the estate of Mr. John T. and Mary Herwick. France is the first John T. Herwick Professor.