Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Department History


Arthur H. Black
Arts & Sciences Dean
Chemistry Professor

Arthur H. Black

Arthur H. Black was a native Toledoan and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1941 from The University of Toledo.  After working a year on his master’s degree, he put his studies on hold in July 1942 to enlist in the Navy.  He graduated from the Naval Engineering School as an Ensign and was assigned to the USS Kidd, a destroyer escort.  He served in the Pacific from February 1943 until April 1945 when he was severely wounded.  After a lengthy hospitalization, Art was discharged in May 1946 and joined the faculty in chemistry at The University of Toledo a month later as an Instructor of Chemistry.  He then completed his master’s degree at UT and also earned a master’s degree from The University of Michigan in 1955.
Art’s area of expertise was analytical chemistry.  He moved through the ranks and was named full Professor in 1970. He continued to teach chemistry even as he served as an administrator at the university.  He was Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences (1961-1964), University Dean of Men (1964-1968), and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences from 1968 until his retirement on December 31, 1983.  He also served as Acting Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences during the 1972-73 academic year.  Art was a strong contributor to the UT Faculty Senate and Athletic Board of Control.  He continued to teach chemistry as a superannuate until 1990 and as a part-time instructor until 1996.
Art was very active in the UT Alumni Association.  He was recognized with the Blue T Award in 1977, and served as chair of the Golden Alumni Society for two years.  He was also one of the charter members of the Phi Kappa Phi Honorary at UT, and was faculty advisor to the Phi Kappa Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternities.  Art also served in various capacities of the Toledo Section of the American Chemical Society, Torch Club International, the Downtown Toledo Kiwanis Club, and many lay leadership roles at Pilgrim United Church of Christ.  In addition, he was a long-time volunteer at Toledo Hospital.
Art was intensely loyal to The University of Toledo, and he dedicated his career to the students and faculty of the institution.  He enjoyed a sixty-year association with The University of Toledo and the Chemistry Department as a student, educator, and administrator.  Art touched the lives of countless students, through his thoughtful advice, outstanding instruction in analytical and general chemistry, and the scholarships he and his wife, Virginia, established to support students at the university.  Faculty colleagues were also enriched by his integrity, valuable insight, and experience.  Art was always generous with his time both at the university and in the Toledo community.  For this, he was admired and respected by many.  A testament to his stature at UT is that Art led the university commencement procession for more than twenty years, carrying the university mace.  Art Black passed away on May 31, 2000.

Colleague Comments

"He was a very patient type of chemist.  Some chemists talk above the head of their students.  He made it understandable."
- Dr. Lance Thompson, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry, University of Toledo
"Art Black was a significant influence on my academic career. He was my undergraduate chemistry professor, the faculty advisor to my social fraternity, and an academic colleague with whom I shared a dedication to the pursuit of excellence."
- Dr. Larry Curtis, (BS, 1958, UT), Distinguished University Professor of Physics, University of Toledo
"Art Black was a teacher’s teacher, a student’s mentor, and a chemist’s chemist!  He was a model for all of us who studied under him or worked beside him to follow.  At a time when the word “chemistry” was intimidating on a list of requisites, students found it could be interesting - even exciting…perhaps, even, a professional goal – when it was presented by Professor Black”
- Dr. Nina McClelland, (BS, 1951; MS, 1963, UT), President, McClelland Consulting Services, Chair, Board of Directors, American Chemical Society
Last Updated: 6/9/16