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Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Series

The Emerson-Wier Legacy

The liberal arts symposium series is funded in part by the Jack Wier, Jr. and Nance Foules Wier Fund for Faculty Development, the Gladys Anderson Emerson Fund for Interdisciplinary Learning and Research.

A 1945 Oklahoma College for Women alumna, Nance Wier maintains that “teachers, not buildings,” promote effective learning. In 2005, she established the Jack Wier, Jr. and Nance Foules Wier Faculty Enhancement Endowment that provides funds to encourage faculty research and learning opportunities, such as the Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium.

Her most notable achievement in science may have been to isolate Vitamin E, but nutrition expert Gladys Anderson Emerson is better known at her alma mater as a global ambassador for the liberal arts. Dr. Emerson earned two degrees at the Oklahoma College for Women in 1925 — one a bachelor of arts in history and English, and the other a bachelor of science in physics and chemistry. She then gained a Master of Arts degree in history and economics at Stanford University. She went from there to the University of California for her doctorate. Dr. Emerson was the American Chemical Society’s 1952 recipient of the Garvan Medal, an annual award recognizing distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists.

During a professional career that spanned 50 years, Dr. Emerson lectured and conducted research at some of the most prominent facilities in the United States. Her articles — more than 100 of them — appeared in leading research journals throughout the world. Upon her death in 1984, she left a bequest to USAO for interdisciplinary learning opportunities and research.