Nina McClelland


Nina Irene McClelland (21 August 1929 – 16 August 2020) was an American chemist. She was Dean Emeritus and professor of chemistry at the University of Toledo.

Nina McClelland
Born(1929-08-21)August 21, 1929
DiedAugust 16, 2020(2020-08-16) (aged 90)
EducationB.Sc., M.Sc., University of Toledo
PhD., University of Michigan
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Toledo
ThesisThe effect of surface active agents on substrate utilization in an experimental activated sludge system. (1968)

Early life and educationEdit

McClelland was raised by her mother Lillian McClelland, who worked as a Foreign Language Teacher.[1] Growing up, McClelland took vocal lessons and was taught six languages by her mother.[2] McClelland's aunt, Fern Mervos, was a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Toledo.[3] McClelland says she was very close to her aunt and as a child would visit her at work.[2]

McClelland graduated from Gibsonburg High School and pursued a degree in mathematics at the University of Toledo. She eventually earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Toledo before graduating with a doctoral degree in environmental chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1968.[4]


In 1967, while earning her PhD, McClelland became involved with the American Chemical Society.[5] The next year, McClelland was named president and chief executive officer of the National Sanitation Foundation International.[6] During her time at the National Sanitation Foundation, McClelland led the International Clean Water program and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Water Treatment Chemicals.[7] She also created a Water Quality Index to report water quality in lakes, rivers and streams. After the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed in the 1970s, McClelland also helped create the governmental standard for chemicals to treat drinking water.[8] In 1986, McClelland sat on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Committee.[9]

In 1991, McClelland was the recipient of the Walter S. Mangold Award from the National Environmental Health Association.[10] In 1993, McClelland spoke in front of the United States Congress Committee on Environment and Public Works to promote cost-effective treatments to assist smaller, isolated communities in accessing clean drinking water.[11] In 1995, McClelland was awarded chairwoman emeritus status[12] and started her own, independent consulting firm.[13] As well, McClelland was later elected American Chemical Society Board of Directors Chair.[14]

McClelland was appointed an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Toledo in 2003.[4] She was also the recipient of an honorary degree from the university.[15] Two years later, she was honored with the Wham Leadership Medal from the American National Standards Institute.[6] In 2008, McClelland was promoted to interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.[16] Her duties included improving the College of Arts and Sciences strategic assessment.[17] The interim honorific was dropped in 2010.[18] She was also inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.[19] The following year, McClelland was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society[13] and retired.[13]

In 2014, McClelland was the recipient of the University's Gold T Award for her "outstanding career accomplishment."[8] Two years later, in 2016, McClelland was the recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's Women in Conservation Award for her contributions to promoting clean energy and protecting clean water supplies.[20] She was also honored by the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society[21] and granted a symbolic key to the city of Toledo.[22] In April, McClelland was one of five women given the Dr. Alice H. Skeens Outstanding Woman Award.[23]

In 2019, McClelland was honored in front of the United States Congress for her accomplishments in preserving clean water.[24] The University of Toledo also dedicated a new Laboratory for Water Chemistry and Environmental Analysis in her name.[25]

She died on August 16, 2020 at the age of 90.[26]


  1. ^ "Lillian McClelland" (PDF). October 25, 1997. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "UT News" (PDF). September 2, 2008. p. 1. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "UT NEWS" (PDF). February 25, 2008. p. 4. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Henry, Tom (September 18, 2019). "UT dedicating new lab in honor of one of its most distinguished scientists". The Blade. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "FROM THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD, NINA I. McCLELLAND". March 26, 2001. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Hayes, Krista M. (October 3, 2005). "UT alumna to receive American National Standards Institute medal" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Rowland, Kyle (April 1, 2016). "Wildlife Federation recognizes UT alumna". The Blad. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Alumni to be honored at annual Homecoming Gala". October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  9. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Committees, Charters, Rosters, and Accomplishments. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. April 14, 2017. p. 31.
  10. ^ "Listing of Past Walter S. Mangold Award Winners". Archived from the original on August 28, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  11. ^ Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1993. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1994. pp. 154–155. ISBN 9780160439209. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Nina McClelland, 67". Crain's Detroit Business. March 31, 1997. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Strunk, Jon (September 28, 2011). "Dean emerita honored by American Chemical Society". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  14. ^ Morrisey, Susan (January 28, 2002). "Society Welcomes Its New Officers". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  15. ^ "FEBRUARY 26, 2003 MINUTES PART TWO". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Klinger, Tobin J. (August 18, 2008). "Interim dean for College of Arts and Sciences named" (PDF). Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "People on the Move". August 15, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  18. ^ "YEAR IN REVIEW" (PDF). December 14, 2009. p. 6. Retrieved October 3, 2019. Dr. Nina McClelland, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since August 2008, receives a contract extension through 2010-11 academic year and interim is dropped from her title
  19. ^ "Governor announces 2010 Ohio Women's Hall of Fame inductees". August 3, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  20. ^ Gearheart, Ashley (May 2, 2016). "Alumna/dean emerita honored by National Wildlife Federation" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  21. ^ "2017 ANNUAL BANQUET" (PDF). April 19, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  22. ^ @city_of_toledo (September 27, 2017). "speaking at OAWWA conference where she just gave #SafeDrinkingWater Pioneer, Dr. Nina McClelland, a key to the city" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Kroll, Vicki L. (April 17, 2017). "University Women's Commission recognizes employees, awards scholarships to students" (PDF). p. 8. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  24. ^ "HONORING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF DR. NINA McCLELLAND; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 151". September 19, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  25. ^ Christine, Billau (September 17, 2019). "New Chemistry Lab to be Dedicated in Honor of Water Quality Leader, UToledo alum Sept. 19". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  26. ^ Nina McClelland, famous UT-educated scientist, dies at 90