The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Dr. Raymond K. Sheline Inducted 1983 - Class of 1939
Dr. Raymond K. Sheline, one of the nation's foremost nuclear physicists, is truly a son of Woodward High School. He is a 1939 graduate of Woodward and a son of the late Raymond Sheline, who is fondly remembered by many Woodward alumni as a long-time teacher of physics.
Dr. Sheline went on to graduate summa cum laude from Bethany (W. Va.) College with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1943, and obtain his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949. He worked on the World War II atom bomb project, as a research chemist with the Division of War Research, Columbia University (Manhattan Project) in 1943-45, and as a junior scientist at the Los Alamos (N.M.) Laboratory of the University of California in 1945-46.
After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Sheline taught at the University of Chicago for two years before accepting appointment to the faculty of Florida State University.
At FSU he was associate professor of chemistry in 1951-55 and professor of chemistry, 1955-59, and since1959 has been professor of chemistry and physics. In addition, he was chairman from 1959 to 1970 of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee which directs the ' state nuclear program at FSU.
He describes his field of interest as "educator and research scientist with graduate and undergraduate teaching, director of M.S. and PhD programs of graduate students, with research interests in nuclear reaction spectroscopy, the interpretation of nuclear spectra in terms of nuclear models, and molecular spectroscopy and structure."
The honors that have come to Dr. Sheline are far too numerous to list in their entirety. To note just one, in 1956 he received a special award from the noted physicist, Niels Bohr-a silver bowl for “productive cooperation" in building the nuclear chemistry laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark. In 1967 he was named a Distinguished Professor at Florida State University, the highest academic honor awarded by FSU.
His fame has taken him to universities and institutes around the world as a lecturer and research professor. He is currently spending a sabbatical at the Department of Nuclear Physics, Institute of Advanced Studies, The Australian National University, and for this reason is unable to attend the Woodward Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
In a letter to the Hall of Fame Committee expressing his regrets, Dr. Sheline wrote: "In thinking about the Hall of Fame, I could not help but realize that I am far less worthy to be inducted than my father and other outstanding Woodward teachers. While I worked on the atom bomb project for just over three years, and it was important in the war effort, my father spent 27 years teaching students, serving as Junior and Senior Dean of Men, and working with the Saga Yearbook. What I helped to create on the atom bomb project was essentially an instrument of war - destructive - while my father at Woodward, with considerable enthusiasm, influenced a generation of high school students. I hope, therefore, that in your Hall of Fame activities you will find some way to honor the teachers at Woodward."