It was in 1907 that the small three-man department moved to their new quarters on the third floor of Lyman Hall of Natural History (which also housed the Departments of Biology, Zoology and Forestry). The Geology Department library was moved from HL to Lyman during the term break in early 1908.
Thomas Cramer Hopkins (1861-1935) was an inspirational teacher; he was well liked and respected. Often the Geology Club met at his home located adjacent to the campus. Hopkins' prestige in academics was “rated in part by the number of his published works” (almost 50 titles) and “his wide acquaintance among geologists of the times added significantly to the benefits to be derived from his teaching” (Holmes, 1977). In 1958 W.B. Heroy endowed scholarships for the outstanding junior and senior majoring in geology in honor of his beloved professor.
Apfel was followed by William M. Merrill as Chairman in 1958 and John James Prucha in 1963. Ernest H. Muller was interim Chair in 1970-71 and Daniel F. Merriam became the first Jessie Page Heroy Professor and Chairman in the spring of 1971. Merriam was Chair until his resignation in 1979. He was followed again by interim Chair Ernest Muller from 1979 until John Dickey assumed the position in 1981. Dickey remained chair until 1988. John James Prucha stepped in as interim Chair from 1988-1990 after a stint as Associate Provost.
Marion (Pat) Bickford resided from 1990-1993. Cathryn Newton was Chair of the Department from 1993 until 2000 when she became the Dean of The College of Arts & Sciences. She was succeeded by Doug Nelson, who was Chair from 2000 until his untimely death in 2002. Pat Bickford was interim Chair until 2003 when Scott Samson, began his duties. Jeffrey Karson became Chair in 2007.
L-R: Pat Bickford, Cathryn Newton, K. Doug Nelson, Scott Samson, and Jeff Karson
Numerous scholarships and awards have been established over the years to honor outstanding students and alumni. In 1961, Chauncey D. Holmes provided for an award for excellence in beginning geology, which is given annually to students with the highest grades in introductory courses and show the most promise in sciences. The Newton E. Chute Graduate Award was established in 1975 to be given annually to the graduate student judged outstanding based on scholarship, service to the Department, and professional promise. In 1976 the Faye M. Merriam Scholarship was endowed for a full-time SU undergraduate geology major to be awarded on academic achievement, need and professional promise. The Marjorie Hooker Award (AM 1933), established in 1977 in support of research, is given annually to the thesis or dissertation proposal judged outstanding by the faculty.
An auspicious event took place in the history of the Department in 1966. William Bayard Heroy approached the University with an offer to contribute money towards a geology building. Heroy had been supporting the Department through gifts for scholarships, equipment and research during the previous ten years. His offer was accepted graciously and the building named in his honor. The building was completed near the end of 1971 and the Department moved between semesters in December of 1971 and January 1972 from their third-floor quarters in Lyman where they had been since 1907 to the spacious new Heroy Geology Laboratory (HGL).
Heroy also endowed a distinguished chair of geology in honor of his first wife Jessie Minerva Page Heroy (PhB '08). D.F. Merriam was the first to occupy this position, which has been held by all subsequent Chairs.
Heroy (1883-1971) was active in many geological organizations and had served them in many capacities (Conselman, 1974). He was cognizant of his education as a factor in his success both as a professional geologist and in business, and as a result he gave generously to his alma mater, Syracuse, to Southern Methodist University, where he spent much time in later years, and to the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca. He gave money both to SU and SMU for buildings to house their geology departments. In recognition of his many accomplishments he received many awards and honorary degrees. He died in 1971.
The Department changed its name in 1993 from the Department of Geology to the Department of Earth Sciences, to more accurately reflect the range of teaching and research found within the Department. The change in the name of degrees offered by the Department did not occur until 2009.