October 12, 1998
Patrick Elvander, an instructor in the Biology Department for 17 years, died unexpectedly October 5; he was 48. He taught a wide range of courses with an emphasis on plant and fungal biology. His students consistently described him as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and inspirational teacher, according to Barry Bowman, chair of the Biology Department. "He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Biology Department," said Bowman.
Elvander held a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
His colleagues described Elvander as an extraordinarily articulate lecturer and genuine educator who wove interesting references from philosophy and literature into his plant lectures. He gave talks frequently to extension classes and friends groups from the Arboretum and the Farm & Garden. "He was a man of great depth, understanding, and appreciation for life," said Brett Hall, Arboretum manager. The Arboretum is planning a permanent tribute to Elvander, the Patrick Elvander Botanical Journey through the Arboretum. For more information, contact Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He made a significant original contribution to his field as the author of the Saxifrage family in the Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California, a comprehensive resource and identification guide to native and naturalized California plants.
In addition to teaching, Elvander served as an academic preceptor at Crown College for 10 years from 1983 to 1993 and as a staff research associate in the undergraduate teaching labs. He also was active in the local chapter of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.
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