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Eloise Gerry Fellowship

Eloise Gerry Fellowship


Eloise Gerry (always pronounced as in “get”, not as in “Gerald”) was born in 1885 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and was educated in the Boston area. She graduated from Radcliffe College with a major in chemistry in 1908, and received a Master’s degree from there in 1909. In 1910 she went to Madison, Wisconsin, to be the only woman on the staff of the new Forest Products Laboratory and the nation’s first woman microscopist. She continued her graduate studies in botany and plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin and earned her Ph.D. in 1921. She specialized in the anatomical structure of wood. Her findings were important to the preservative, pulp, and paper industries, and her contributions persuaded industry that the use of new techniques in obtaining “naval stores” (turpentine, etc.) would prolong the life of the forests. She became an authority on foreign woods and before her retirement in 1955 was an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin as well as a member of the Forest Products staff.


Besides Sigma Delta Epsilon Graduate Women in Science, she belonged to Sigma Xi, the American Chemical Society, the Society of American Foresters, the International Association of Wood Anatomists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and numerous other distinguished societies, and contributed her help and untiring efforts to all of them. She had a strong dedication to the service of others and gave of herself unstintingly. As a member of Beta Chapter (Madison, WI Chapter), she was particularly interested in and helped to shape the SDE Fellowships Fund program; indeed, she was chairman of the Fellowships Award Board in 1941, when the first fellowship was awarded. She was awarded National Honorary Membership in SDE/GWIS in 1957. She continued in active membership until her death on December 11, 1970. Dr. Gerry’s bequest was the source of the first named endowment fund to be used for fellowships. The first Eloise Gerry Fellowship was awarded in 1975.


Please click to learn more about the GWIS Fellowship Program and the GWIS Endowments.


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