William Lester

William A. Lester, Jr., PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry | University of California Berkeley

Dr. Lester is a Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, where he was an active member of faculty for 29 years. He developed an interest in chemistry at a very early age, and attended the University of Chicago on scholarship, earning Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees before completing his Doctor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in 1964. He began his career in 1961 as a physical chemist with the National Bureau of Standards and taught at the University of Wisconsin while serving as Assistant Director of the school’s Theoretical Chemistry Institute during the mid 1960s. Dr. Lester joined the IBM research staff in 1968 and became manager of the company’s molecular interactions group in 1976, departing in 1978 when he was named Director of the National Resource for Computation in Chemistry sited at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. From 1991 to 1995, Dr. Lester was an Associate Dean in the College of Chemistry at Berkeley. Dr. Lester has been a Senior Fellow of the National Science Foundation and a member of special panels for the National Research Council, Gordon Research Conferences, and the National Medal of Science, among others.

Star Treatment Video

Dr. Lester sits down with Star Jones to discuss his career, inspirations, and goals. 

Marquis Legacy Video

Dr. Lester talks about his work and life in a video for Marquis.

Marquis Insight Magazine

Dr. Lester shares his professional perspective and provides updates in a feature for Marquis Insight Magazine.

Forbes Magazine

Dr. Lester’s career journey was profiled in an issue of Forbes Magazine.

William Lester

Marquis Humanitarian Award

In recognition of his career accomplishments, Dr. Lester was honored with the Marquis Humanitarian Award. 

Marquis Milestones Timeline

Dr. Lester’s professional journey is outlined in his Marquis Milestones timeline.

Delta Sky Magazine

Dr. Lester was featured in Delta Sky Magazine as a recipient of the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

William Lester

Marquis Newsletter

Dr. Lester provides updates on his career and goals in a Marquis newsletter.

William Lester

Marquis Millennium Magazine

Dr. Lester shared his professional journey and perspective in the second edition of Marquis Millennium Magazine.

William Lester
William Lester

Wall Street Journal

Dr. Lester was featured in the Wall Street Journal among a group of recipients of the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

William Lester

Marquis Lifetime Achievers

Dr. Lester’s Lifetime Achievers page highlights his professional titles and Marquis honors.