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Gifford E. (Mac) McCasland

by Susan J. Ainsworth
December 13, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 50

Gifford E. (Mac) McCasland, 94, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of San Francisco, died on June 15, 2008, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Born in Springfield, Mo., McCasland earned a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1934.

In the late 1930s, while studying for a master’s degree at Columbia University, he joined the staff of Consumer Reports, then in its first year of publication. He resumed graduate work at California Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1944.

After conducting postdoctoral research in chemistry at the University of Rochester, he held faculty positions at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Toronto; and Ohio State University.

In 1957, McCasland became a research associate at Stanford University, and in the early 1960s, he joined the University of San Francisco as a professor of chemistry. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford in 1970 and an academic guest at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich, in 1978. He retired from the University of San Francisco in 1979.

His research focused on organic nomenclature, stereoisomerism, heterocyclics, sulfur-containing sugars, sorbitols, carbohydrates, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. McCasland authored numerous scientific articles. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1943.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Eve­lyn, and sons, James and Douglas.


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