Dr. Elmer Nussbaum, namesake of Euler Science Complex's adjoining Nussbaum Science Center, worked as a faculty member at Taylor University from 1954 to 1985. During 31 years of distinguished service, Dr. Nussbaum participated in scholarly research, mentored hundreds of students and fostered an environment of discovery that propelled dozens of his students on to graduate school.
Through work with the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Nussbaum introduced his students to the wonders of nuclear energy. He spent a number of summers working and teaching at the Institute of Nuclear Studies in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and, according to Taylor historian William Ringenberg, Dr. Nussbaum’s reputation as a physicist aided his efforts to bring prominent scientists to the campus each year (beginning in 1957) for the highly successful Science Lecture Series.
Dr. Nussbaum is remembered as a model to other faculty and as a researcher, teacher, scholar and humble Christian who brought grants to Taylor and sent well-prepared students from Taylor into major graduate programs. One such student was Dr. Joseph Brain ’61, who went on to become the Cecil K. and Philip Drinker Professor of Environmental Physiology at Harvard.
“Every college student should have the opportunity to be mentored by someone like Elmer Nussbaum," Brain said. "A quiet, unassuming man, he awakened in me a passion for discovery and teaching – his vision still guides me after nearly 50 years.” Click to read Brain’s full tribute to Dr. Nussbaum.
Dr. Nussbaum passed away in 2000.