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Biography Of Gloria Long Anderson: Career, Parents, and Research

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Gloria Long Anderson is a chemistry professor and the vice president of academic affairs at Morris Brown College. She was born on November 11, 1938, in Altheimer, Arkansas, to seamstress Elsie Lee Foggie Long and sharecropper Charles Long. Anderson was the fourth and only girl in a family of six. Her family and she lived in a mixed-race, segregated farming community. Anderson was tasked as a child with assisting her family with farm work. While working hard for her family, she also learned to read before the age of four and was able to begin elementary school at that age.

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She attended segregated public schools throughout her childhood, but she excelled at schoolwork, skipped grades, and graduated from high school at the age of 16 in 1954. Anderson received a Rockefeller Fellowship between 1956 and 1958, which she used to attend Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal College, where she graduated in 1958 summa cum laude with a degree in chemistry.

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Anderson taught seventh grade at an Altheimer school after being turned down for a job at the Ralston Purina Company because she is African American. She accepted a teaching assistantship and a position in the master’s program at Atlanta University. Anderson received her master’s degree in chemistry from Atlanta University in 1961, with a thesis on a novel butadiene synthesis. She taught for one year at South Carolina State College after graduation before moving on to Morehouse College, where she taught chemistry for two years.

Anderson began her doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in 1965, researching the nuclear magnetic resonance and CF infrared frequency shifts of fluorine-19. She tutored white female chemistry students during her time there. Anderson received her Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry in 1968, after which she joined Morris Brown College as an associate professor and chair of the chemistry department. In 1973, she was appointed Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Chemistry and Chair. For two summers in 1981, she worked as a research fellow and research consultant at Lockheed Georgia Corporation in Marietta.

She worked as a faculty research fellow at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California during the summer of 1984. She was Dean of Academic Affairs from 1984 to 1989 before returning to her position as Professor of Chemistry and Chair in 1990. Anderson served as Morris Brown’s interim president twice, from 1992 to 1993 and again in 1998. From 1995 to 1997, she was also Dean of Science and Technology. Anderson has been a Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Chemistry since 1999 and a Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Chemistry since 2009. Since 2007, she has also served as the vice president of public affairs at Morris Brown College.

Anderson’s chemical structure research has aided in the development of antiviral drugs. Her research has included topics such as solid-fuel rocket propellants, substituted amantadine, and epoxidation mechanisms. Anderson received over $1,000,000 in grants for the faculty and science programs at Morris Brown College during her tenure there. Her dedication and hard work have directly resulted in the revitalization of Morris Brown’s chemistry curriculum, the expansion of the chemistry department, and the acquisition of new scientific instruments.

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