In the early 1900s, public schooling for black children in Alabama ended with the eighth grade. After 2 years of private education at the State Normal School for Negroes in Montgomery, Julian was admitted to DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, as a subfreshman in 1916. Family members who saw him off on the northbound train included a grandfather who waved a hand that was missing 2 fingers, the punishment for learning to read, and a 99-year-old grandmother who had established a record by picking 350 pounds of cotton in 1 day. Julian lived in the attic of a fraternity house at DePauw and was able to earn enough as a waiter to cover his tuition. Later, the entire family followed him to Indiana. Percy was the eldest of 6 children, each of whom graduated from DePauw; his 2 younger brothers became physicians. Despite weaknesses in his elementary education, Julian was an excellent student. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, obtained his bachelor's degree in 1920, and was valedictorian of his class. During the next 2 years, he was an instructor in chemistry at Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee. Then he was awarded a fellowship in biophysics and organic chemistry at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he obtained a master's degree in 1923. No faculty position was available for a black man at that institution at the time, nor could he obtain a doctoral degree in his field of interest. Instead, he joined the faculty of West Virginia State College in Institute, an all-black institution at the time, as a professor of chemistry. In 1929, he was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, which he used to earn a doctoral degree from the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Professor Ernst Späth, his teacher there, said Julian was “an extraordinary student, his like I have not seen before in my career as a teacher.”5(p13) His doctoral thesis concerned a botanical alkaloid, and this work proved very useful for his later focus on physostigmine.