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Departmental Legacy Scholars

This category includes "giants" from each department who spent time at the University before national and international awards evolved to recognize exceptional scholarship in those respective fields.

Awardee Discipline Years at UMN

H.K. Hayes

Researcher, teacher, and author in plant breeding, who developed techniques for breeding hybrids and disease resistance used today, and who wrote an internationally adopted textbook

Agronomy & Plant Genetics 1915-1952
William Anderson


For more than fifty years a prominent scholar, advisor, teacher, activist-reformer, and disciplinary leader in political science
Political Science 1916-1957

Joseph Valasek

Discoverer of the phenomenon of ferroelectricity, the electrical analog of ferromagnetism, one of the most important physical science discoveries ever made at Minnesota

Physics 1922-1965
Richard Hartshorne

One of geography's most prominent theorists and historians, noted for his classic book "The Nature of Geography"
Geography 1924-1941

Florence L. Goodenough

Professor and author of numerous texts and articles dealing with exceptional children and mental testing, well known for her "Draw-a-Man" Test used as an index of intelligence.

Child Development 1925-1947

Jonas J. Christensen

Pioneer in the genetics of plant pathogens, a superb teacher and a contributor to international agriculture

Plant Pathology 1925-1964


Ralph Hall Brown

One of the country's most eminent historical geographers, author of the classic books "Mirror for Americans" and "Historical Geography of the United States"

Geography 1929-1948
Katharine J. Densford

Developed administrative, teaching and treatment techniques that came into common use in hospitals and schools throughout the world
Dean of the School of Nursing 1930-1959
C.B. Burnham

Pioneering plant geneticist, who contributed to our knowledge of basic genetic mechanisms and wrote a unique textbook. In retirement, led scientific effort to restore the American Chestnut.
Agronomy & Plant Genetics 1938-1972

(updated September 19, 2014)

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