In Memoriam: Ralph W. Turner, 1937-2017

Ralph W. Turner, the former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida A&M, died on December 26 while visiting family in Philadelphia. He was 80 years old.

Dr. Turner joined the faculty at Florida A&M University in 1967 as an associate professor of chemistry. He became dean in 2008 and served in that role until 2012. He served on the faculty at the university for a half century, most recently as the 3D Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Turner held a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.

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  1. Dr. Turner was a great friend to all students. He was committed to excellence and to ensuring that all students were provided opportunities to succeed. I met him first as he served as a Co-PI with the LSAMP program. His creativity, concern and careful thought provided the fuel that helped FAMU grow. He will be missed!

  2. Dr. Turner was basically my mentor as well as advisor during my time at FAMU. Unfortunately, I struggled during my undergrad studies though there was a potential to excel. Dr. Turner recognized it but always showed sincere support. Over 1o years(2004) after leaving FAMU, I pursused Graduate Studies(MS) in Chemistry and he was right there to support me. Thereafter, in 2010, when I was trying to get into another PhD program after my 1st unsuccessful stint, he was there to support my efforts. I eventually earned my PhD in 2015 after a long road of obstacles and barriers. Dr. Turner definitely inspired me to persist and achieve. I strongly desired to get back to FAMU and give back through teaching or doing research with his assistance. But by this time(2015), Dr. Turner was making way to retirement after a lifetime of achievement. Nevertheless, the fruit of his caring devotions will still be embellished and facilitated/carried out through other means or situations (not necessarily at FAMU). Thus, the products of his hard work and professional giving will last for a long time and never die because it will be passed on to others as well. His legacy will live forever and the Chemistry Dept. building arguably should be changed to Jones/Turner Hall. He has done just as much, if not more, for FAMU than anyone.

    Thanks You Dr.Turner,
    Eddie Lareece Pittman, PhD/Chemistry/2015

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