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Towson University Daily Digest In Memoriam Nordulf Debye

Dr. Nordulf W. G. Debye, Professor of Chemistry, died on October 9 after a long illness.

Dr. Debye was a physical chemist in the tradition of his grandfather, Peter Debye, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1936.

Dr. Debye received his B.S. in Chemistry from Rice University in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 1970. He did postdoctoral research at the National Bureau of Standards and was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Colorado Women’s College before coming to Towson State College as a Visiting Lecturer in 1975. He was promoted to an Assistant Professor in 1975, Associate Professor in 1983 and Professor in 1990.

Dr. Debye’s area of research was in thermal analysis of materials. He also had a strong interest in the scholarship of teaching and coauthored a laboratory manual, Experiments in Chemistry, with Frank Milio and Clyde Metz. Dr. Debye played an important role in leadership at the Department and College level, serving as Department Chair from 1986-1992, Acting Chair in 1995 and Associate Dean of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics from 1997-1999. He performed many valuable service assignments within the Department and College and served on the University Senate.

Dr. Debye was an inspiring and warmly regarded teacher, whose lectures and Web course materials were a model of clarity. He made the complex and highly mathematical subject of physical chemistry understandable to generations of students and gave them vast amounts of his time and support.

Dr. Debye is survived by his wife, Irene, and five children.

Interment will be private. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 17, 4-6 p.m., at Evans Funeral Chapel, 3 Newport Drive (Rtes 23 & 24) in Forest Hill, MD, with a potluck to follow at William Watters United Methodist Church, 1452 Jarrettsville Rd, Jarrettsville, MD.

Donations are suggested to the Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202. Memory tributes may be sent to

This page was created with the Towson University Daily Digest Publishing System. Applicable policies and procedures may be found here.
Contributed on behalf of: Dr. Richard S. Preisler, Chairperson, Department of Chemistry
Publish from: 10/13/2009 through 10/16/2009
Topic: Announcements
Division: Academic Affairs
Distribution: Faculty/Staff and Students