Oral History with Luther Brice, Interview 1, October 24, 2015 (Ms2015-007)

Title

Oral History with Luther Brice, Interview 1, October 24, 2015 (Ms2015-007)

Description

Luther Kennedy Brice, Jr. began working at Virginia Tech as assistant professor of chemistry in 1954. He earned tenure two years later and became a full professor in 1966. He served as professor of chemistry and Acting Head of the Chemistry Department in 1966-67. He received both of Virginia Tech’s prestigious teaching awards. In 1961, he was awarded the University Wine Award that recognizes a history of university teaching excellence and involves automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence. In 1966, he was the first winner of the University Sporn Award for Teaching Introductory Subjects. He took early retirement in 1986 when he moved to Washington, D.C. and taught as an adjunct professor at American University. During his years at Virginia Tech, Brice taught 23,593 students in freshman chemistry, physical chemistry, and principles of chemistry. He was also known as “Merlin the Magician” when he donned the blue cape made for him by his students and presented his chemical magic show.

Brice was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a master’s from Dartmouth, and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

In this first oral history, Brice discusses how one had to be underground about being gay during his student years and through much of his time as a professor at Virginia Tech. Until the 1970s being homosexual was not discussed. He comments on the difficulties faced by gay faculty and students.

Date

Identifier

Ms2015-007_VTLGBTQ_BriceLuther1

Bibliographic Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Virginia Tech LGBTQ Oral History Collection, Ms2015-007, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Interviewer

Tamara Kennelly

Narrator

Luther Kennedy Brice, Jr.

Location

InnovationSpace, Virginia Tech

Duration

01:11:19

Citation

“Oral History with Luther Brice, Interview 1, October 24, 2015 (Ms2015-007),” VT Special Collections and University Archives Online, accessed April 5, 2020, http://digitalsc.lib.vt.edu/Ms2015-007/Ms2015-007_VTLGBTQ_BriceLuther1.