Issue Date: July 18, 2011
G. N. Russell Smart
G. N. Russell Smart, 89, professor emeritus of chemistry at Muhlenberg College, died on May 3 in Salisbury Township, Pa., of congestive heart failure.
Born in Montreal, he graduated from McGill University in 1942, receiving a B.S. with first honors in chemistry. In 1945, he received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from McGill, where he conducted research with R. V. V. Nicholls on nitramine explosives. He continued conducting explosives research with George F. Wright during postdoctoral study at the University of Toronto. Smart then worked on organosilanes with Henry Gilman at Iowa State College of Agricultural & Mechanic Arts, in Ames.
In 1947, Smart began a 40-year career teaching organic chemistry at Muhlenberg. He became head of the chemistry department in 1961 and retired in 1987. Smart was an active researcher in stereochemistry and stereoisomerism.
In 1954, he became a founding director of the Tuition Exchange, a nonprofit agency that provides college education subsidies to children of college employees. He served as executive director from 1979 to 1994. Smart was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Allentown, Pa. He was an emeritus ACS member, joining in 1947.
Smart’s wife of 57 years, Margaret, died in 2003. He is survived by a daughter,Megan Skinner; sons, David and Derek; and sister, Barbara Davidson.
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