Liquid Crystal Institute celebrates its 50th anniversary

Hiroshi Yokoyama, director of Kent States Liquid Institute, poses for a portrait outside of the third floor laboratory that will be the primary facility for incoming students of a new Liquid Crystal masters program in fall of 2015. Yokoyama will direct the new program.

Hiroshi Yokoyama, director of Kent State’s Liquid Institute, poses for a portrait outside of the third floor laboratory that will be the primary facility for incoming students of a new Liquid Crystal master’s program in fall of 2015. Yokoyama will direct the new program.

Gabrielle Woodard

The Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI) at Kent State celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on the same day its original founder, Glenn H. Brown, would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

There were about 200 people registered for the event in the Kiva who reviewed the history of the institute as well as celebrating its successes.

Many of those in attendance were graduates of the masters and doctoral programs in chemistry, math and physics, many of whom have gone on to start one of the nine companies that create liquid crystal displays.

Representatives of companies that have partnered with the institute were also in attendance.

Liv Mullen, the Undergraduate Student Government Senator of the College of Arts and Science, was in attendance for the event.

“Liquid Crystal brings Kent on an international level of research that not many people know about,” Mullen said.

Hiroshi Yokoyama, director of the LCI, gave a brief history of the institute and its previous directors. Brown founded the institute on March 18, 1965 and also founded the International Liquid Crystal Conference in the same year.

“The ILCC is the largest meeting of academics in the field,” Yokoyama said.

The conference is returning to Kent State to celebrate its anniversary this summer. It will have been 10 years since the conference has been held at its founding campus.

Kent State President Beverly Warren explained that the LCI has partnered with the Fashion School and the School of Podiatric Medicine to develop a sock for diabetics that will change color if they have circulation issues.

Warren also congratulated the institute on pairing with Cleveland State University and the University of Akron to advance some of this research.

“We can’t be so competitive that we become isolated,” Warren said.

Gabrielle Woodard is the arts and sciences reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]