James M. Sprague - Merck Science Award
To say that James M. Sprague went on to a successful career after graduating from Franklin College in 1930 would be a gross understatement. Dr. Sprague responsible for 27 United States patents and several foreign patents for the Merck Co., Inc. He was probably most famous for being the first chemist to synthesize sulfapyrimdines. Also known as "sulfa drugs," they were among the first highly effective chemical antibiotics. The development of sulfa drugs led to the beginning of modern chemotherapy. Dr. Sprague also developed diuretics for use in treating hypertension, circulatory and cardiac conditions. In 1964, he won the American Pharmaceutical Association's Award in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry. In 1959, Merck and Co., Inc., established the James M. Sprague-Merck Science Award in recognition of the outstanding research done by Dr. Sprague.
The Sprague-Merck Award is given each year to an outstanding student majoring in chemistry. Preference is given to juniors. The award may be given to a student majoring in one of the other natural sciences if there is not a qualified chemistry major. A committee consisting of the vice president for academic affairs, the chair of the chemistry department and a representative from the natural sciences selects the recipients.