1952; Department of Mathematics, Department of Statistics
This science building is named for the LeConte brothers, John and Joseph,
nineteenth-century faculty members who were among the most renowned scientists
of their day. A building on the campus of the University of California, where
they later taught is also named for the two.
The brothers were native Georgians and were graduated from the New
York College of Physicians and Surgeons.
John LeConte (1818-1891) taught science and physics at Franklin
College, moved to the chair of physics at the College of Physicians and
Surgeons, and in 1856 accepted the chair of physics at South Carolina
Although his property was destroyed during the Civil War, he
continued his scientific work. Many of his important achievements date
from at this time. He soon left South Carolina College to serve as
president of the new University of California. In his lifetime John
LeConte contributed about 100 papers to scientific writing.
Joseph LeConte (1823-1901), a geologist, studied under the famous
naturalist Louis Agassiz in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After teaching at
Oglethorpe University and the University of Georgia he was elected to
the chair of chemistry at South Carolina College,where his brother John
was already teaching. Unfortunately, like his brother, Joseph LeConte
left the college shortly after the Civil War, when prospects in South
Carolina were not promising, and joined the faculty of the University of
California. Joseph taught there until his death during a trip with the
Sierra Club in the Yosemite region.
The Wyman L. Williams Room, a faculty lounge in LeConte, honors the
former faculty member and head of the Department of Mathematics.