Commencement 2017 Speaker Citation
Arthur J. Tipton, PhD ’80
Dr. Arthur J. Tipton has dedicated his career and talents to leading teams and organizations engaged in scientific research and development.
With 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, he is a prolific research scientist, business leader and champion of innovation.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Spring Hill College in 1980, Dr. Tipton continued his studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he earned his doctorate in polymer science and engineering.
In 1988, he joined Atrix Laboratories as the manager of polymer science and senior polymer chemist. From there, he served in multiple leadership roles with the Durect Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on drug delivery.
In 2005, Dr. Tipton founded Brookwood Pharmaceuticals, a Southern Research spin-off venture that supplied drug delivery technologies to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Eventually, the company was acquired by Evonik, where he served as senior vice president of the Birmingham division and led the company’s global drug delivery efforts.
Since 2013, Dr. Tipton has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Research, a nonprofit organization with close to 500 scientists and engineers dedicated to advancing drug discovery and development, exploring new solutions in the field of engineering, and creating innovative technology and solutions related to energy and our environment.
He has been recognized for his leadership and dedication to the field of science with numerous accolades and special appointments. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineers, the Controlled Release Society, and the National Academy of Inventors.
Dr. Tipton exemplifies the teachings of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, through his leadership, service and continued commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others. He has served on numerous boards throughout his career, including, most recently, the Economic Development Partnership of the Alabama Foundation, the Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Board, Innovation Depot and advisory boards for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Business and Department of Biomedical Engineering.
He is also committed to serving the State of Alabama as a member of the Alabama Science and Technology Roadmap Steering Committee, the Alabama State Workforce Council and the Alabama committee on Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. This year, he accepted appointment to the Board of Trustees for Tuskegee University, a role in which he looks forward to contributing to the field of education.
During his career, Dr. Tipton has been instrumental in the growth of three start-up companies and holds 42 issued U.S. patents, 30 published U.S. patent applications and numerous foreign equivalents. He has more than 75 scientific publications, presentations and invited lectures.
Dr. Arthur J Tipton, for your dedication to advancing science, for your creativity that has embraced both discovery and innovation, and for your vision and leadership to seek novel solutions to improve the lives of those throughout the world, Spring Hill College is pleased to bestow on you this day, the sixth of May, two thousand and seventeen, the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.