All Press Releases for October 26, 2021

T. Flint Gray, Jr., PhD Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Gray has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the field of chemistry

    KINGSPORT, TN, October 26, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present T. Flint Gray Jr., PhD with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Gray celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

With a 33-year tenure to his credit, Dr. Gray's career at Eastman Chemical Company, formerly known as a division of Eastman Kodak, is all the more extraordinary considering it almost did not happen. Growing up in Anniston, Alabama, he dedicated his summers to washing cars for his father's funeral home. Throughout college, he was under the impression that he would begin working for his father on a full-time basis once he graduated. His father, Flint Sr., loved working with his son but he noticed his remarkable aptitude for chemistry, physics and mathematics, as Dr. Gray owned a chemistry set as a child and was always interested in making model airplanes. Thus, Flint Sr. suggested he follow his passions and enroll in graduate school.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts at Centre College in 1960, Dr. Gray obtained a PhD in organic and polymer chemistry at the University of Florida four years later. Thanks in no small part to his work with an internationally renowned professor, he received 25 job offers upon graduation. In another life-altering decision, he accepted a position with Eastman Chemical Division of Eastman Kodak in Kingsport, Tennessee, where he began working as a research chemist in 1965. Over the next 20 years, Dr. Gray would hold titles such as senior research chemist, senior research associate and staff assistant to the vice president of research and development before advancing into more specified departments.

From 1986 to 1991, Dr. Gray found success as the director of the Eastman Chemical Division's polymer research division. He later served as the director of special projects throughout 1992. Dr. Gray subsequently excelled as the director of emerging technology for the Eastman Chemical Company before his retirement in 1998.

Dr. Gray's graduate research on the mechanism, kinetics and stereochemistry of cyclopolymerization was included in papers published by Professor George Butler of the University of Florida. His research at Eastman was focused on structure-property and processing relationships of condensation polyesters, blends and reinforcements. The results in these areas led to modified polyesters (PET) that were sold to make carbonated beverage bottles and other packaging uses. In addition, a copolyester was invented that is used in making intravenous solution bags by pharmaceutical companies. Based on his research, Dr. Gray contributed papers to the Journal of Macromolecular Science; chapters on polyester chemistry and properties in the Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology; and coauthored a chapter in Ultra-High Modulus Polymers. Dr. Gray holds several patents related to polyester blends and reinforcements and the invention of a copolyester for use in intravenous solution bags.

One of Dr. Gray's proudest accomplishments, however, is not related to science at all. From 1970-1995, he was able to balance his work at Eastman Chemical Company with operating his father's funeral home, the Gray Brown-Service Mortuary, along with the Forest Lawn Gardens Cemetery. As the funeral home's former president and treasurer, Dr. Gray is extremely honored to have carried on his father's legacy well after he passed away.

In addition to overseeing the family business for 25 years, Dr. Gray has always remained active in his local community. As a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church of Kingsport, Tennessee, Dr. Gray has served as Sunday school teacher, representative to the Boy Scout troop, deacon, elder and clerk of the session. As a member of the Lions Club of Kingsport since 1974, he has served in most offices including president. He also received the Lions International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellow award in 1995. Dr. Gray previously served on the board and as chairman of the Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center for a number of years. He has supported the United Way of Greater Kingsport since 1965 and actively campaigned for annual funding in the 1990s. He was a charter member of the local Alexis de Tocqueville Society, and was chairman from 2005-2007. In 1998, he joined the board of the YMCA in Kingsport. Dr. Gray was appointed Capital Campaign chairman to coordinate and raise the funds to build a full service YMCA. In 2008, he was elected President of the YMCA board and continues involvement in fund raising.

Dr. Gray is an emeritus member of the American Chemical Society. During his career with Eastman he was a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Commercial Development Association. During his college and graduate education, Dr. Gray was recognized for leadership by the award of membership in the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership fraternity. In fraternity life, he was a Sigma Chi and served in all offices of the local chapter. He was an Interfraternity Council member and president for two years. He was honored to receive the Kentucky-Tennessee Region International Balfour Award. Additionally, for his scholarship, he was admitted to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the Phi Beta Kappa Scholar Society.

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