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Edith Flanigen '50

Photo: Edith Flanigen from the 1950 D'Youville College yearbook

DYC Alumna Receives Nation's Highest Award for Inventors

President Obama honored Edith Flanigen,'50, with a National Medal of Technology and Innovation for her work in chemistry.

Buffalo, New York – December 02, 2014 – The Buffalo News reported that DYC alumna, Edith Flanigen, who earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from D'Youville College in 1950 was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House last month.

Flanigen was honored for her "innovations in the fields of silicate chemistry, the chemistry of zeolites, and molecular sieve materials."

In total, she invented more than 200 synthetic materials during her long career at Union Carbide, a Buffalo-based corporation that produces chemicals and polymers.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

According to the Buffalo News article, Flanigen attended Buffalo's Holy Angels Academy, where a teacher introduced her to chemistry.

She went on to attend D'Youville College, where she served as class president and valedictorian. She earned her graduate degree at Syracuse University.

The President receives nominations from a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

“These scholars and innovators have expanded our understanding of the world, made invaluable contributions to their fields, and helped improve countless lives,” President Obama said. “Our nation has been enriched by their achievements, and by all the scientists and technologists across America dedicated to discovery, inquiry, and invention.”

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