The San Diego Section had its inception in October, 1940, when Dudley Robinson of State College (now San Diego State University) organized a movement to secede from the Southern California Section and form a local section. By the following March 18, the required 15 members were gathered for the petition and the charter for the San Diego Section was granted on April 7, 1941 at the National Meeting, with 23 members listed on the Charter. The Charter Dinner was held April 22, 1941 in the Gold Room of the Grant Hotel (price $1.00). Ambrose Nichols, Jr. was elected first Chair and he was later present as an honored guest when the Section celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary in 1991.
In 1961 the Section made an attempt at publishing its first newsletter, SANDACS, which discontinued when the editor resigned for personal reasons and no replacement was found. In 1989 a newsletter was resumed with the start of The San Diego Chemist, with Suzanne Blackburn as editor. With the widespread availability of the internet, it is now distributed in electronic form, with archived copies available on the Section website.
The membership growth was slow during the war years and reached only123 by 1955, but with the expansion of educational and research institutions in San Diego our Section is now in the Large category with some 2700+ members and six allotted Councilors. The San Diego Section has won the ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Performance for a Large Local Section three years in a row. The Section conducts monthly meetings and has over a dozen active committees staffed by volunteers. The premier public event is our annual ChemExpo which takes place at Balboa Park.