Three Former Moundbuilders to Enter SC Natural Science Hall of Fame

Three Southwestern College graduates will be inducted into the Natural Science Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m., in Deets Library on the campus of Southwestern College.  

The new members are Charles Hunter, Winfield; Gerald “Eddie” Weigle, Burden; and Arthur Hertzler (deceased). The hall of fame plaques will be on display prior to the 5 p.m. dinner in the Deets Library.  The induction ceremony will begin at the conclusion of the meal.  
This hall of fame honors Southwestern College alumni who have made significant contributions in the natural sciences.

“The legacy of Southwestern College’s natural science program has been in place for over 100 years, as is evidenced by the induction of this year’s notable alumni,” says Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at Southwestern. “Dr. Arthur Hertzler, class of 1896, was a man ahead of his time in the field of medicine, and the education background he received at Southwestern undoubtedly was a part of that success.  The other two 2016 inductees bear witness to the fact that this legacy remains as strong as ever.  It is truly an honor to recognize these outstanding individuals for their work.”

Inductees include:
•    K. Charles “Charlie” Hunter ’67 turned his fascination with invertebrate animals and his love for teaching into a 42-year career on the Southwestern College faculty. He returned to the college as a sabbatical replacement in 1974 after earning his graduate degrees from the University of Oregon, but plans for a short stay changed when he fell in love with undergraduate teaching and the quality and character of SC students. During this time, he fostered undergraduate research and designed a number of courses that continued to be taught at SC, including his favorite, Animal Physiology. He was the driving force behind SC’s marine biology program and for 16 summers taught students (including Moundbuilders) at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. Hunter’s awards included several SGA Faculty Citations, the Kopke Distinguished Teaching Award, and the United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award.

•    Gerald E. Weigle II ’93 received undergraduate degrees in both biology/chemistry and physics from Southwestern and a master’s in electrical engineering from Kansas State University before going to work for Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. While at SwRI he worked on software for numerous NASA spacecraft missions, including Deep Impact, Cassini (Saturn), New Horizons (Pluto), and the Curiosity Rover (Mars). Weigle took on leadership of several of the project: On the Pluto project he was lead engineer for operations, and he was software project manager for the Curiosity Rover. He left SwRI in 2013 to move home to Burden, Kan., where he formed Big Head Endian LLC. The professional engineering and software firm continues to work on the projects Weigle had at SwRI, in addition to new mission work. 

•    Arthur E. Hertzler, class of 1896, was known as the “Horse and Buggy Doctor” and brought health care to Kansas which rivaled that found anywhere at the time.  Having received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School, Dr. Hertzler continued with three years of intensive medical study in Berlin before returning to Kansas.  His reputation for diagnosis and treatment was well known and physicians from a wide area consulted with him.  Hertzler had been offered a position as Professor of Anatomy at Northwestern, but chose instead to establish the Halstead (Kan.) Hospital in 1902.  During that same year, he accepted a position to teach pathology, histology, surgery, and gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, although he still held office hours two days a week in Halstead.  In 1946, after more than 50 years of 18-hour days, Hertzler retired.  The legacy of this outstanding Kansas country doctor lives on through the Hertzler Research Foundation, Agnes Hertzler Memorial Clinic, Kansas Health Museum, and Halstead Hospital. 

Pat Ross, chair of the division of natural sciences and mathematics at Southwestern, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the induction.  Prior to the hall of fame inductions, there will be introductions of the science advisory council members, biology activity grant scholars, internship participants, and the Tri-Beta officers.

View the online Natural Science Hall of Fame gallery here.

For more information about the Natural Science Hall of Fame, contact Lowe at (620) 229-6334.

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