William Marion Mebane Distinguished Teaching Chair

Dr. William M. Mebane, born in Newton, NC, was a renowned scientist, weapons expert, educator, and a former Director of Rocket Research and Development at the Redstone Arsenal for Thiokol Chemical Corporation. He was an outstanding national authority on the subject of planning and development of modern and future weapons. His career also included distinguished military service and 20 years of teaching at several colleges and universities. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina.

Mrs. Isabella Knudsen Mebane graduated from the College of Charleston in 1928. Because of her, Dr. Mebane loved and respected the College. The Chair, the first at the College, was established in 1987 with a gift from Mrs. Mebane and alternated between the chemistry and physics departments with two year terms. In 1998 the Mebane Endowment had increased in value to where a separate chair could be sponsored in each department and the term extended to four years in length.

The honor is normally held for four years. The award is accompanied by a salary supplement and an allocation to support special efforts in teaching. Past chair holders are eligible but cannot win consecutive awards.

A quote from the gift agreement: "The primary criterion is that the appointee is to be a person who excels in teaching ability.  Research and other academic qualifications shall always remain secondary to the prospective appointee’s teaching prowess and devotion to students.”

Holders of the chairs and their year of appointment are as follows:


Chemistry and Biochemistry
1988 Marion Doig
1992 Elizabeth Martin
1996 Henry Donato Jr.
2000 W. Frank Kinard
2004 Gary Asleson
2008 Pamela Riggs-Gelasco
2012 Amy Rogers
2016 Wendy Cory
2020 David Boucher

Physics and Astronomy
1990 J. Fred Watts
1994 Laney Mills
1998 David Hall
2002 Jeffery Wragg
2006 Terry Richardson
2010 Linda Jones
2014 Alem Teklu
2018 Ana Oprisan