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Departmental News

The Harold C. and Charlotte L. Shaffer Endowed Chair in Biological Sciences

A reception was held honoring Harold and Charlotte Shaffer on March 26, 2004. The Shaffer's generous gift of the Harold C. and Charlotte L. Shaffer Endowed Professorship in Biological Sciences was announced. A portrait of the couple and commemorative plaque were unveiled in Bowman-Oddy 1031.
 
Professor Emeritus Harold Shaffer has spent more than 50 years of his life in UT laboratories studying anatomy and teaching students about all aspects of biology. Now, thanks to the generosity of Shaffer and his wife, Charlotte, an endowed chair of biological sciences will be established in the biological sciences department.

The couple has made provisions in their estate plans to create the Harold C. and Charlotte L. Shaffer Chair in Biological Sciences. The person selected for this position will have research and teaching interests in biomedicine, but also be devoted to teaching and mentoring undergraduate students.

According to Dr. Patricia Komuniecki, chair of the department, Shaffer has always been very dedicated to helping undergraduate students reach their full potential. “Harold was a professor from 1951 until he retired in 1985. During this entire time, he focused on working with undergraduate students as both a teacher and mentor,” she said. “We are very honored and excited that the Shaffers have established this position. It is the first endowed chair for our department.”

The Shaffers were honored for their gift during a reception last week in the Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. In addition to the couple, the event was attended by former students and faculty members who worked with Shaffer, as well as President Dan Johnson, Dr. David Stern, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and UT faculty and staff.

One former student, Rex Powers, remembered Shaffer as the first person he made a connection with at the University. “I remember coming to this big school as a freshman and I was assigned to Professor Shaffer’s preparation lab. He helped me find my way around campus and the preparation lab became a social group for all of us students that were in it,” Powers said.

Shaffer first came to UT as a student in 1931. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he started his career as an instructor. He taught anatomy, physiology and microbiology to Toledo Hospital nursing students and was responsible for UT’s x-ray technology program.

During his 35 years as a faculty member, he received numerous recognitions and distinctions, including being appointed special assistant to UT President Dr. Asa S. Knowles. Shaffer also served as a marshal at commencement exercises and captain for the Natural Sciences for the Centennial Fund Drive that helped raise money for campus beatification. In 1966, he received the UT Outstanding Teacher Award.

Last Updated: 3/22/15