Biography & other information
MIT M.S. Chemical Engineering, 1941
Chemical engineer, amateur pianist; philanthropist for music at MIT
Cherry Emerson (1916-2007) received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organic chemistry from Emory University, 1938 and 1939, and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1941. An accomplished amateur pianist, he studied for a number of years with Alfredo Barili. With William R. Cuming, he founded Emerson & Cuming, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals. Founded in 1947, the firm became a worldwide company developing products crucial to such industries as aerospace and oil drilling. Mr. Emerson’s philanthropic activities have benefitted educational and cultural institutions, including MIT, Emory University, and the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. He was the primary donor supporting renovation of the MIT Music Library, which is named in honor of his mother-in-law, Rosalind Denny Lewis. Cherry Emerson died in 2007.