Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award

Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award winner Roosevelt Thedford
Roosevelt Thedford, PhD ’73, MS ’62.

Roosevelt Thedford, PhD ’73, MA ’62 

Thedford, a native of Jefferson County, Ala., is a retired professor of chemistry at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). As the only child in his family to go to college, Thedford spent his career encouraging young students to pursue scientific careers as he did.

He received his bachelor’s in chemistry from Clark College in Atlanta. He then earned a master’s degree in chemistry from UB, then a doctorate in biochemistry from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. 

After working as a cancer research scientist at Roswell Park Memorial Institute (now Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center), he returned to his undergraduate alma mater as an associate professor of chemistry. The consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University resulted in the formation of CAU in 1989, where Thedford remained as a professor until his retirement in 2009.

In addition to his teaching obligations, Thedford conducted research in chemistry and biochemistry of nucleic acids with the support of private and federal grants, and made a point of involving both his undergraduate and graduate students in his research. In 1983, he was selected to participate in the UNCF Distinguished Scholars Program to further pursue his research interests. 

Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award

The late Mrs. Furnas established this annual award to be presented to a distinguished graduate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences or the College of Arts and Sciences in a natural sciences or mathematics discipline.