Who is Tracy Hall?

A Family Legacy of Service and Innovation Will Endure Through Tracy Hall Science Center.

Tracy Hall in 1939, the year he graduated from Weber College.

Tracy Hall Science Center is fittingly named in honor of two local families that have enjoyed a long legacy with WSU.

The Tracy family settled in the Ogden area in 1851. They encouraged their children to become educated and use that education to serve others. Aaron Tracy served as one of the first WSU presidents from 1922-35.

The Hall family came to Ogden as railroad workers in 1892. Howard Hall married Florence Tracy in 1918, and their five sons greatly benefited from their Weber College education. Their oldest son, H. Tracy Hall, graduated from Ogden High and started attending Weber College in 1937 – a beneficiary of a work-for-tuition program the school offered.

The Weber College graduate, who went by the name of Tracy, is credited with creating the first successful high pressure/high temperature process to manufacture synthetic diamonds in a laboratory.

Dr. Hall, in 1968, with the 1,200 Ton Cubic Press he designed.

Tracy was born in Ogden in 1919 to Howard and Florence Tracy Hall. He graduated from Weber College in 1939 and earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Utah in 1942. For the next two years, he served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy before returning to the U where he was the first graduate student of the illustrious scientist, Henry Eyring. Tracy was awarded his doctorate in physical chemistry in 1948, which enabled him to fulfill his childhood dream of working for General Electric Research Laboratories (GE) in New York. He also studied at prestigious schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

Tracy and Ida-Rose

Tracy left GE in 1955 to become a full professor of chemistry and the director of research at Brigham Young University. There he continued his cutting-edge research with the invention of the Tetrahedral X-ray Diffraction Press. The device produced pressures of three million pounds, simultaneously with temperatures of 10 thousand degrees, successfully simulating the conditions of inner earth and creating dozens of new materials unknown in nature. Tracy went on to hold 19 patents and received numerous awards.

Tracy married Ida-Rose Langford in 1941 and they had seven children, 35 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren. Tracy served five years as a Bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Ida-Rose also served a church mission to South Africa.

Tracy died on July 25, 2008 in Provo at the age of 88 leaving behind a legacy of innovation, achievement and service. Dr. H. Tracy Hall’s legacy and the legacy of the Tracy and Hall Families will endure at Weber State University through a generous pledge naming the new Weber State University science laboratory building.