Legacy of Discovery
“One of the purposes of [Taylor] University is to advance the Kingdom of God. Many of the major challenges facing the world today and the church in particular deal with science, and that’s why Taylor, as a Christian liberal arts university, needs to explore [these challenges].”
–President Emeritus Eugene Habecker
Science has been at the forefront of Taylor’s vision and mission from the first president of Taylor University to today. Below we have provided a few outstanding examples of alumni, faculty and staff who have made great scientific discoveries and impacted science students for the Kingdom throughout our 164 years.
Early Beginnings in Science
Alexander Huestis was Taylor’s (Fort Wayne Female College) first president, serving 1847-48 and 1850-52. He was a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy (the precursor to modern science) and authored several scholarly works including a science textbook: Principles in Natural Philosophy (1849). He was also a well-known Shakespearian scholar and completed a manuscript for the Complete Concordance of Shakespeare.
Women Leading In Science
Alice Hamilton, M.D. was a student at the Fort Wayne College of Medicine, and as the leading expert in the field of occupational health she went on to become the first woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard University in 1919. After her retirement from Harvard in 1935, Hamilton served as a medical consultant to the U.S. Division of Labor Standards, and retained her connections to Harvard as professor emerita. She was included in the list of Men in Science in 1944 and received the Lasker Award in 1947. Alice was a pioneer in the field of toxicology, studying illnesses and the dangerous effects of industrial metals and chemical compounds on the human body. She was known as “the first American physician to devote her life to the practice of industrial medicine.”
On February 27, 1987, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health dedicated its research facility as the Alice Hamilton Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health. The Institute also began giving a yearly "Alice Hamilton Award" to recognize excellent scientific research in the field. In 1995 her extensive contributions to public health were commemorated by a U.S. Postal Service's commemorative stamp. In 2002 Hamilton was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of her role in the development of occupational medicine.
Pioneering Trauma Surgery
Christian B. Stemen was president of Taylor University during the 1890-91 school year. He also served as Dean of the Medical College. He was the most significant person in bringing together Fort Wayne College, The Fort Wayne College of Medicine and the National Association of Local Preachers to create what we now know today as Taylor University.
Stemen was a noted surgeon and for many years prior to his death was chief surgeon of the Pennsylvania railroad system, which was headquartered in Fort Wayne. During the Civil War he served as captain and surgeon of the one hundred and fifty-second Ohio infantry for three years and then because of ill health contracted in the line of his duty was made draft surgeon until the end of the war. He authored a book titled Railway Surgeon (1890), a systematic study of accident and trauma surgery, which was the first book written about railway surgery.
Emerging Into The Natural Sciences
Olive Mae Draper, a 1913 graduate of Taylor and a pioneer in the introduction of women into the field, became the central figure in developing the natural sciences at Taylor University in the period between the two world wars. Her service as a professor spanned from 1914-1955. Over the years, she taught a wide array of classes, including mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry. In what has since become a memorable quote, she noted that while you cannot “measure it in volts and amperes,” prayer is never the less a powerful “effectual working force in the kingdom of God.”
Her impact is evidenced by those that came to respect her as students at Taylor:
“She probably did more than anyone else during her active years to develop the Natural Sciences area of the curriculum.”
– Elmer Nussbaum, professor emeritus, and namesake of the Nussbaum Science Center
“I can never think of Taylor and my education without thinking of Ms. Draper.”
– Gene L. Rupp, former vice president of University Advancement
“She had the ability to communicate her own sophisticated knowledge in a way that an average student could understand.”
– Don Odle, father of sports evangelism
Science Discovery and Renowned Lecturer
John Furbay was a Taylor biology professor who excavated a mastodon skeleton discovered on Taylor’s campus in 1928. Furbay, who recieved his PhD from Yale, went on to be an internationally known lecturer and held the distinction of “the most travelled man alive” as the director of global education for Trans World Airlines.
Leadership in Public Health
Dr. John C. Bugher ’21, was part of the family that helped to bring Taylor University to Upland. He worked at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City (including the Division of Medicine and Public Health) and researched yellow fever. In the 1950s he worked for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as the deputy director. He studied the delayed effects of atomic radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Charles Wesley Shilling graduated from Taylor in 1923 and went on to serve as a senior medical officer at the U.S. Naval Academy. From 1955-1960 he was the Deputy Director of the Division of Biology and Medicine of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Dr. Shilling was widely recognized as an expert on naval medicine, submarine capabilities and deep sea diving. He also served as chairman of the Taylor University Board of Trustees.
Among many awards and honors, Dr. Shilling received the Founders Medal from the Association of Military Surgeons for work in diving medicine (1953); the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan (1959); the Golden Cross of the Order of the Phoenix from the Greek government for creating a method of radiation sterilization of a fly, a technique that helped save the Greek olive crop (1960); Alumnus of the Year from Taylor University (1960); the Albert Behnke Award from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (1975); the NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (1979); the Chamber of Achievement Award from Taylor University (1980); the Florida Underwater Council Service Award (1980); the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange Award (1980); the Schiffahrtmedizinsches Institut Der Marine Award (1980); and was the first recipient of the C.W. Shilling Award from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, established in his honor in 1982.
In 1954, Dr. Shilling received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Taylor University.
|Radiation: Use and Control in Industrial Application||(1960)|
|Atomic Energy Encyclopedia in Life Sciences||(1964)|
|Human Machine: Biological Science for the Armed Services||(1965)|
Dr. Ray Isely ’57 distinguished himself in the field of international health. Dr. Isely began his career as a United Methodist Median Missionary in rural Zaire and later returned to Africa as a Peace Corps physician in Senegal, Mali and Gambia. His dedication to the people of Africa extended his service into Burundi, Togo, Tunisia, Malawi and the supervision of the tuberculosis center in Zaire. Upon his return to the United States, Dr. Isely created a comprehensive medical service for disadvantaged children in Philadelphia. Much of his energy was devoted to public health research through the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina. There he dealt with health aspects of water and sanitation in Third World nations. A gifted scientist, noble humanitarian and compassionate physician, Dr. Isely gave himself to the service of others who could not help themselves — those caught in a trap of poverty and disease.