William P. VanEseltine
William Parker VanEseltine (August 21, 1924 - February 6, 2009), Oberlin College class of 1944, was a Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at the University of Georgia.
Bill, as he was known by friends, was born August 21, 1924, in Syracuse, NY, to Florence and Glen VanEseltine. He grew up in Geneva, NY, and was graduated from Lakemont (NY) Academy.
He followed his brother Robert L. VanEseltine (class of ?) in enrolling at Oberlin College. In 1944, he received his AB degree in Biology from Oberlin and was honored with membership in Sigma Xi. After graduation, he was an Assistant in Bacteriology at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva (1944-46) and the College of Agriculture at Cornell (1946-48). He earned his MS in 1947 and PhD in 1949, both in Microbiology, from Cornell University. During his time at Cornell, he authored three and coauthored four publications in areas of food microbiology and chemical disinfection.
Following earning his PhD and marriage to Marian L. Vanderburgh, Dr. VanEseltine accepted a position of associate professor of bacteriology at Clemson Agricultural College (now Clemson University) in Clemson, SC. He taught courses in general, advanced, dairy, soil and sanitary (water and sewage) bacteriology. While at Clemson, he directed bachelor’s thesis research for four agronomy majors which culminated in one publication in the area of soil microbiology.
In 1952, he took on a position of Assistant Professor of Veterinary Hygiene in the School (now College) of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, in Athens, GA. The position was half teaching and half research. He taught introductory bacteriology to first year veterinary students. In 1955, he began teaching pathogenic bacteriology for second year veterinary students. At this time, the University of Georgia had a cooperative bacteriology program involving faculty from five different departments on campus. The veterinary faculty was responsible for the medical aspects of the program. At first, the small numbers of students in this program were accommodated by being included with the veterinary students in existing courses in pathogenic bacteriology (and immunology and virology). During his tenure at the university he also taught advanced pathogenic bacteriology.
The research areas of interest to Dr. Van, as his students knew him, included: the nutritional requirements and cell structure of Leptospira sp.; the taxonomy of Moraxella; and the pathogenic properties of human and animal Group G Streptococci.
In 1971, Dr. VanEseltine took on the responsibilities of Graduate Coordinator, in addition to his teaching and research responsibilities. He enjoyed interviewing prospective students for the graduate program and had a great experience working with the Graduate School.
He retired in 1987 after an exemplary career at the university.
In 2008, Dr. VanEseltine and his wife moved from Athens, GA, to be nearer his daughter, Karen Rabek, and her family in Louisville, KY, and also to be nearer to Kalamazoo, MI, where his son, Kenneth VanEseltine (class of 1975) and Kenneth's wife Barbara Marsh VanEseltine (class of 1976) reside.
He passed away February 6, 2009, in Louisville, KY. He was buried in Monumental Grove Cemetery in Meridian, NY, on May 23, 2009.
- “Memorial Service for William P. VanEseltine”, February 14, 2009, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, Louisville, KY
- “Profile of Dr. William P. Van Eseltine”, The Department of Infectious Diseases Newsletter, Vol 1 Number 1, December 2005, pp 7-8, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
- Swiderski, John. “In Memoriam: William P. VanEseltine”, GOShawk: Newsletter of the Georgia Ornithological Society, Vol 36, Number 1, March 2009
- “William P. VanEseltine", May 21, 2009, Syracuse (NY) Post Standard
- “William P. VanEseltine Ph.D.”, February 10, 2009, Athens (GA) Banner-Herald
- “William P. VanEseltine Ph.D.”, February 10, 2009, Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal
- "Dr. William P. VanEseltine", Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Vol 104 Number 4, Summer 2009, p 42