A dedicated educator, mentor and member of the campus community, William Henry Sloan spent almost all of his education and career at Stanford University, studying chemistry through his 1904 master’s degree, and teaching analytical chemistry until his retirement in 1942. Professor Sloan was skilled in business as well as academics, and led administration of the Chemistry Department library and laboratory facilities through a period of substantial growth. Reportedly impressed with the rapid maturation of first-year graduate students, in 1923 he endowed David L. and Lavinia E. Sloan Memorial Scholarship primarily to their benefit.
Professor Sloan was born in Mayfield, California, in 1877, and grew up working on his father’s seed farm in what is now northern Palo Alto. He studied chemistry at Stanford as both an undergraduate and graduate student (AB 1903, AM 1904). After a year as a chemist with the San Francisco Board of Health, he returned to Stanford as an instructor of analytical chemistry in 1906. He was elevated to assistant professor in 1914, associate professor in 1923 and full professor in 1937, remaining through his retirement to emeritus status in 1942.