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Aven Nelson* - 2005 - Outstanding Former Faculty
Professor Aven Nelson, Department of Botany, is one of the original faculty members of the University of Wyoming. He came to UW in its founding year, 1887, and retired after 55 years of service in 1942.
A devoted and exciting teacher, Nelson shared his expertise with UW students, as well as the Wyoming public. As secretary of the State Board of Horticulture, Nelson wrote numerous publications geared toward the lay population. In 1893, he founded the Rocky Mountain Herbarium—today one of the finest in the United States—and the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Science. Nelson served as president of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Botanical Society of America. Nelson also was president of UW between 1917 and 1922. Nelson’s achievements led to his receiving an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Colorado and an honorary doctor of laws degree from UW.
*In loving memory.