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NMSU to honor Jerry Landrum at commencement for discovery of new chemical elements

New Mexico State University is honoring Jerry Landrum with an honorary doctorate during the fall 2013 commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Pan American Center.


Man poses for the camera
Jerry Landrum is being honored at the fall 2013 commencement ceremony with an honorary doctorate, Dec. 14, at the Pan American Center. (Courtesy Photo)

Landrum was selected as an honorary doctorate for his distinguished career as a chemist. His work assisted in the creation and detection of atoms of six new heavy elements, two of which are acknowledged as discoveries by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, four remain under consideration.

"We are incredibly proud of Jerry Landrum and the role he played in making this scientific breakthrough," said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. "He is an excellent example of how New Mexico State University is all about discovery. We provide a foundation for our students to find out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. We also provide the knowledge and skills necessary to our students to make profound discoveries after they graduate."

Landrum graduated from NMSU in 1961 with a degree in chemistry. He was honored in June 2013 for his work with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, for his contributions to the discovery of two new heavy elements, 114 (Flerovium) and 116 (Livermorium).

A Fort Sumner, N.M., High School graduate, Landrum began his career in 1961 as a chemist at the NMSU Physical Science Laboratory for a year. He worked at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory for four years.

Landrum was a chemist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1966 until his retirement in 1999, which only lasted three years. He spent from August 2002 to December 2006 as a part-time research associate at the laboratory.

Landrum and his wife, Velma, have three sons and one grandson.