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The 2014 AIME Honorary Membership Award  

Awarded To: Haydn H. Murray

Once upon a time on a farm near Kewanee, Illinois, a bright high school senior, who was also a pretty good football player, had a particularly inspiring science teacher. This teacher took his class on a field trip to visit a nearby coal mine. Our bright high school senior was impressed enough with the operation that he decided he wanted to be a mining engineer. Among the schools interested in him as a football player, one emphasized the quality of their department of Mining Engineering--the University of Minnesota. In 1942, this young man chose this as the place to pursue his interests.

Haydn Herbert Murray enrolled in college just before turning 18 years old, becoming eligible for the draft as World War II was in full swing. He completed two quarters and one-half of the spring quarter before entering the Army. Prophetically, he was shipped to Camp Wheeler, Georgia. At the time, he did not realize that the land on which Camp Wheeler was located was actually owned by Georgia Kaolin Company but assigned to the U.S. Army under eminent domain until 1947. Fifteen years later he joined Georgia Kaolin Company.

After his basic infantry training was completed, the Army sent him to the University of Alabama in the ASTP (Atmy Specialized Training Program) to study basic engineering subjects, one of which was a geology course, which he particularly liked. Later, in the Philippines he worked with volcanic ashes and soils building airstrips and roads. While at the University of Alabama, he applied to the Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was accepted. He graduated from OCS on December 12, 1944. He had been told that in all probability he would be in the United States for at least six months. With this news, he married his high-school sweetheart, Juanita A. Appenheimer, on December 16. On December 27, he was ordered to report to Fort Lewis, Washington. When he checked in, the desk sergeant said, "Lt. Murray, you are alerted for immediate overseas duty." He boarded a troop ship in Oakland, California, on February 5, 1945. When he arrived in New Guinea, he was assigned to the 866111 Engineer Aviation Battalion on the island ofBiak*, which is fifty miles north of New Guinea, and 50 miles south of the equator. From Biak the battalion was sent to Manila in the Philippines to repair and refurbish the airport at Nichols Field on Luzon near Manila. After the Pacific War ended in August 1945, he was company commander and had to remain in the Philippines until he was replaced by a new West Point Second Lieutenant.

After being discharged in August 1946, Haydn used the G.I. bill benefits to enroll in at the University of Illinois instead of the University of Minnesota because the later was already well into their fall term and the former hadn't started yet. At Illinois he received three degrees in geology in just five years. After completing his master's degree in igneous petrology, Dr. Ralph Grim offered him a fellowship funded by Illinois Clay Products, which he accepted. He says, "It was one of the best moves I ever made." Grim had transferred to the Geology Department in 1948 after a 16-year career at the Illinois Geological Survey, so Haydn became Grim's first Ph.D. student and a clay mineralogist, writing a dissertation titled The Structure of Kaolinite and Its Relation to Acid Treatment. In 1951, Grim recommended Haydn for a faculty position at Indiana University and to be the Clay Mineralogist for the Indiana Geological Survey.~

About The AIME Honorary Membership Award:


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