Shirley and Delbert Day
Throughout five decades of scholarship, research and life-saving technology transfer as a pioneer in the structure, properties and uses of glass, Missouri S&T alumnus and Curators’ Professor Emeritus of Materials Sciences and Engineering Delbert E. Day, CerE ’58, has played a pivotal role in advancing scientific knowledge and revolutionary applications now used from operating rooms to outer space.
At the same time, Professor Day and his wife, Shirley, have been longtime members of the Missouri S&T family, dedicating countless hours to serving the campus community and generations of students.
With this endowment, the Days have chosen to deepen their legacy of leadership and service by establishing a permanent source of support for aspiring scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs through the Day Family Endowed Scholarship in Materials Science & Engineering.
Delbert Day earned a Bachelor of Science degree in ceramic engineering at Rolla in 1958 and went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate in ceramic technology from Pennsylvania State University. He returned to Rolla as a faculty member in 1961 and launched a remarkable career encompassing 58 patents, more than 390 technical papers, three books, and numerous honors and awards, including election into the National Academy of Engineering and distinction as a Distinguished Life Member and Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, National Institute of Ceramic Engineers and Society of Glass Technology.
Professor Day is also the recipient of Penn State’s Hosler Alumni Scholar Medal for Scientific Achievement and the Phoenix Award, the glass industry’s top international honor. His many Missouri S&T accolades include the Outstanding Alumni Service Award, Curators’ Distinguished Professor Award and Chancellor’s Medal. Professor Day was honored as one of the university’s 28 Alumni of Influence in 2011.
As a pioneer in the biological applications of glass, and Director of Missouri S&T’s Graduate Center for Materials Research from 1983 to 1992, Professor Day played a pivotal role in developing the radioactive glass microspheres, TheraSpheres™, now used around the world to treat patients with inoperable liver cancer. The Delbert Day Cancer Institute at Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla honors his contributions.
As an entrepreneur, Professor Day was also instrumental in founding Rolla-based MO-SCI Corporation, which manufactures glass products used in health care and other industries. The company is now headed by his son, Ted.
In addition to the glass microspheres used in radiation therapy, Professor Day has developed bioactive glass for wound and bone repair, chemically durable glass for vitrifying nuclear waste, and a recycled glass aggregate called Glasphalt. He was also the first U.S. researcher to conduct glass melting experiments in microgravity aboard a NASA space shuttle.
In keeping with the wishes of the donors, the Day Family Endowed Scholarship in Materials Science & Engineering will provide young scholars for generations to come with the opportunity to pursue their passion for the innovations of tomorrow at Missouri S&T.