A community is defined by the heroes it chooses to celebrate. We invite you to join the EECS department in recognizing a previously overlooked hero, Berkeley EE Prof. Joseph T. Gier, the University of California’s first tenured Black professor. Raised in Oakland by a single mother, Gier came to Berkeley as an undergraduate in 1930, […]
Lee Julian Purnell (1896-1983), Berkeley’s earliest known Black EE student
Lee Julian Purnell is the first Black student known to have graduated from the EECS department. He was born in Washington, D.C. in 1896, graduated from Berkeley High in 1915, earned a B.A. from Cal in 1919, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1921, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Berkeley in 1929. He settled into a career at Howard University where he eventually became Dean of Engineering.
Reintroducing Joseph Thomas Gier
Joseph T. Gier was a pioneer in every sense. He was the first Black tenured faculty member in the UC system, a successful inventor, and a world authority on infrared measurement. Who was Berkeley EECS Prof. Joseph Gier?