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Dr. Simeon Pickard named Burke Professor in Natural Sciences

BRISTOL, Tenn., Nov. 10, 2017 – Simeon Pickard, Ph.D., professor, and chair of Chemistry Department at King University, has been named the Dr. Edward W. Burke, Jr., Professor in Natural Sciences. The professorship was founded in 2014 as a way to memorialize the lasting achievements of Ed Burke, long-time faculty member and acclaimed physicist/astronomer at King, and to honor the commitment of a current natural sciences faculty member who continues in the same tradition of excellence in teaching, advising, and scholarship at King.

“It is my pleasure to announce the newest faculty recipient of the distinguished Dr. Edward W. Burke, Jr., Professor in Natural Sciences is Dr. Simeon Taylor Pickard, Professor of Chemistry,” said Matt Roberts, Ed.D., vice president for Academic Affairs. “Dr. Pickard was chosen by a committee of his peers who recognize Simeon as someone fully dedicated to the mission and vision of King, and more importantly, as a professor who is absolutely committed to the success and transformation of the students at King.”

Dr. Pickard earned a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry and an M.S. in Chemistry at Western Kentucky University. He completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Vanderbilt University graduating in 1991. After a year of post-doctoral teaching and research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, he came to King College in 1992.

In 1997, Pickard became chair of the Chemistry Department and quickly developed a reputation for mentoring junior professors. Simeon describes himself as a dream enabler for students as he works with them in both General and Organic Chemistry. His goal is always to help students discover their true identities and what they want to be—whether that means a career in science or a health profession, or following another calling.

“In the manner of Dr. Burke who tirelessly gave his time, energy and resources to King, Dr. Pickard has provided expert and essential service to King. He not only teaches his students chemistry, but he also prays for them and their success,” said Roberts. “He can be found every day at lunch in the dining hall eating with students, faculty, or staff, and he welcomes anyone to join him. Good teaching is his passion, and interacting with students gives him great joy and satisfaction.”

“Dr. Burke was a friend of mine. We ate lunch together once a week most every week for about 15-16 years. [The award] is an honor, and it’s a chance for me to honor Dr. Burke,” said Pickard. “This is a great way to perpetuate [Dr. Burke’s] memory. The award is designed to promote student participation, advancement, and progress in the natural sciences, particularly focused on student research. I plan to sit down with the science faculty to determine what the best way is to use the [award] to promote student research.”

Active at Woodlawn Baptist Church, Pickard serves there as Sunday school teacher, chairman of the Board of Deacons, and church treasurer.


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.