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Samuel Howell Knight* -- 1997 -- Outstanding Former Faculty
Geology and Geophysics Department
was a superb classroom teacher, famous for his ability to sketch in
three dimensions on a chalk board while lecturing, and revered by the
estimated 12,000 students who passed under his tutelage during his 50
years in the Geology department at UW. As a driving force in developing a
nationally recognized department, Dr. Knight oversaw the creation of
the department’s master's and Ph.D. programs, and planned and helped
construct what would become known as the S.H. Knight Summer Science
The farsightedness of his research was acknowledged by his peers: among his honors, he was distinguished lecturer for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists on two national tours. Recognizing that much of the fossil material found in Wyoming was exported for display elsewhere, he devoted immense effort to enlarging the University collections and to creating the Geological Museum. He restored and mounted its centerpiece, the 75-foot-long Apatosaurus. He also designed and built the life-sized Tyrannosaurus near the museum’s entrance.
To honor this great teacher, researcher, and leader, the University named the geology building after him in 1974. Dr. Knight died in 1975.
*In loving memory.