Chemistry Majors

            About one hundred years ago, things were very different for a woman going to college in Delaware. Men and women were separated and treated very differently, as men were seen as superior and more independent.  Today, women have a better chance at equality, and they have a better chance at fulfilling their dreams.

Miss Catherine Broad was a student at the Women’s College of Delaware who graduated in 1933 with honors and a double major in English and Chemistry. After graduating she became the executive secretary to the Director of the Dupont Experimental Station. A podcast was produced about Ms. Broad’s May Day dress for a recent exhibition.

Blue and Gold Yearbook from 1932, featuring Catherine Broad.  Courtesy of the University Archives.

Blue and Gold Yearbook from 1932, featuring Catherine Broad. Courtesy of the University Archives.

Ms. Broad was a very high achiever, and what she accomplished was remarkable in her times.  She held a very prestigious position for a woman, but there is much more she could have done with her degree had she graduated a century later.

Alyssa from fb

Alyssa Hull (BS & BA 2014) Fulbright Scholar

Alyssa Hull recently graduated with honors from UD in 2014 with degrees in Chemistry and Art Conservation. Her interest in Art Conservation began when she learned from her freshman year roommate about Art Conservation. The major combined all of her passions. She is currently working in Norway on a Fulbright Research Scholarship, and is continuing her double degree by studying pigment change and how to slow or stop the process of fading in master works at the Munch museum. This is an issue for Munch’s iconic painting The Scream, as it is for several other impressionists’ paintings. These studies entail surveying light-altered pigments in Munch’s paintings and also analyzing the materials in paint tubes he donated to the museum upon his death. To take on this opportunity, Alyssa postponed her doctoral chemistry program at Duke University, which she will begin next fall. She hopes to become a museum scientist, and she is well on her way.

UD has produced many successful women in the field of chemistry. We have come a long way, and twenty-first century opportunities for women are moving toward parity with men.

By Becca King (Freshman Art History Major)


“Catherine Broad.” 1932. University of Delaware Yearbook, 67.

Podcast Common Threads – 1933 UD May Dress

Hull, Alyssa. Personal Communication. October 13, 2014.