News Release| Ferguson Courtyard dedication ceremony; Cal State L.A.

February 15, 2011

Note to editors and news directors: CSULA Chemistry Emeritus Professor Costello Brown is available to provide insights into Cal State L.A.’s strengths in the sciences as well as background on Lloyd N. Ferguson’s esteemed career in the field of chemistry. To arrange an interview with Brown, call the CSULA Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

Media Advisory: Friday, Feb. 18, 2011; 11:30 a.m.

Cal State L.A. names courtyard in honor of Lloyd N. Ferguson

Dedication ceremony to recognize contributions of esteemed Chemistry emeritus professor

Los Angeles, CA -- Ferguson Courtyard”—the quad located in between La Kretz Hall and Wing B of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex on the Cal State L.A. campus—will be officially dedicated on Friday, Feb. 18, during an 11:30 a.m. ceremony.

The courtyard is named for Cal State L.A.’s emeritus professor of chemistry, Lloyd N. Ferguson, in recognition of his campus accomplishments and his national and international scientific contributions.

Ferguson, who taught in Cal State L.A.’s Chemistry and Biochemistry department for 21 years, served as director of CSULA’s MBRS (Minority Biomedical Research Support) program from its inception in 1973 through 1984. MBRS provides support for research participation and career enhancement of undergraduates and graduate students, with the expectation that student participants will pursue a Ph.D. following graduation from Cal State L.A. He was recipient of Cal State L.A.’s 1973-74 Outstanding Professor Award and the 1980-81 CSU Trustees’ Outstanding Professor Award.

Ferguson has served as a role model for hundreds of underserved students who have gone on to careers in science and technology. Like those he mentored, Ferguson also had a passion for science from a young age. While in his teens, he developed such products as a moth repellent, spot remover and silver polish. After graduating from high school, he worked as a porter for the Southern Pacific Railway Company to save enough money to go to college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1940, and by 1943, had become the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

While at Berkeley, he helped develop a hemoglobin compound that could quickly and reversibly gain and lose oxygen. The Monsanto Company continued the development and manufactured large quantities of this material for use in submarines as a source of oxygen.

An author of more than 50 journal articles and seven chemistry textbooks, Ferguson was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; and he served as chairman of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education and on the National Cancer Institute’s chemotherapy advisory committee. Before arriving at Cal State L.A., he taught at Howard University for 20 years. He is a Playa del Rey resident.

Established in 1995 in honor of Ferguson, the University’s Lloyd N. Ferguson Distinguished Lecture Series brings leading scientists to the CSULA campus annually. Each year a scholarship bearing his name is also presented to a select freshman majoring in chemistry or biochemistry.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. promptly, with remarks from Ferguson along with CSULA President James M. Rosser, CSULA College of Natural and Social Sciences Dean James Henderson, UC Berkeley Chemistry Professor William Lester, CSULA Chemistry Emeritus Professor Costello Brown, and CSULA Chemistry Chair Robert Vellanoweth. 

WHAT:           Ferguson Courtyard Dedication Ceremony.

WHEN:           Friday, Feb. 18, 2011,  11:30 a.m.  

WHERE:         Courtyard between La Kretz Hall and Wing B of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex on the Cal State L.A. campus. (In case of rain, the dedication ceremony will be moved into the La Kretz Hall first-floor lobby.) The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) Freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 Freeways. For campus maps and directions: /sites/default/files/univ/ppa/campus_map.pdf

INFO:             To make advance arrangements to cover the dedication ceremony

                        or for more details, call the Public Affairs office at Cal State

                        L.A., (323) 343-3050. 


As one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse universities, Cal State L.A. has gained national recognition over the past four decades for preparing students—particularly those from underserved communities—to earn doctoral degrees in the sciences and in health professions.

Cal State L.A.’s science programs have been recognized for outstanding K-12 outreach efforts, undergraduate research opportunities, educational support programs and faculty mentoring. For example, since 1973 student participants in the University’s Minority Opportunities in Research programs have authored or coauthored more than 500 journal articles. Each year Cal State L.A. awards roughly 300 bachelor’s degrees and 100 master’s degrees in biology, chemistry, health sciences, physics and mathematics. Currently, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation fund 61 Cal State L.A. projects that have received collectively more than $22 million.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.