Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

John Clarence Karcher 
Doctor of Science  1974
Status: conferred

Distinguished scientist, inventor and explorer for mineral resources, he was born in Indiana and educated at the Universities of Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. In 1917, while a physicists at the United States Bureau of Standards, he was assigned the problem of designing and constructing a device for detecting and recording blasts from field artillery pieces by sounds waves through the air. While testing this device he conceived the idea of using seismic waves through the ground rather than air waves. Through his great perseverance and disciplined imagination this study consummated in the development of the reflection seismograph which became the primary instrument in the search for oil and gas on the earth's land surface and only practical method of exploration for hydrocarbons beneath the sea. The principal oil and gas reserves of the modern world, a significant factor in the economic expansion of industrialized nations, are the direct result of his application of the basic principles of science to the solution of a need of mankind. For his eminent scientific accomplishments and for his many benefactions to this University we are pleased to honor him today. Mr. President, I have to honor of presenting him for the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.