Kenneth W. Whitten, a professor emeritus in the UGA Department of Chemistry, passed away on April 8, 2020 at the age of 88. He was a respected member of the faculty for more than 30 years, and was a tireless supporter and benefactor of the department throughout his career and retirement.
Dr. Whitten received his A.B. at Berry College, M.S. at the University of Mississippi, and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. He taught at Tulane, the University of Southwestern Louisiana, the Mississippi State College of Women, and the University of Alabama before joining the UGA faculty as assistant professor and coordinator of general chemistry in 1967, a position he held until his retirement in 1998. During his tenure at UGA, he rose to the rank of full professor, served on multiple campus committees, and won many awards for teaching excellence. He coauthored a chemistry textbook with the late Dr Kenneth Gailey and later with Dr Raymond Davis, which went on to be widely used in the United States and internationally. His passion for teaching left a mark on thousands of freshman chemistry students. He found great joy in his student’s future successes in their chosen fields.
Dr. Whitten’s numerous awards include the G.E. Philbrook Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award, the Outstanding Honors Professor, the Franklin College Outstanding Teacher of the Year, the General Sandy Beaver Teaching Award, and a Senior Teaching Fellowship.
He provided generous financial support to the department for more than two decades. In 1998, an award was established in Dr. Whitten's honor celebrating outstanding teaching assistants in UGA's department of chemistry. The Whitten Chemistry Teaching Assistant Support Fund remains active, and is a vital source of financial support for our graduate students. Individuals who wish to make a donation in his memory may do so by clicking here.