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Reed C. Rollins*
AB - 1933 - Botany
Reed Rollins came to UW from a ranch in Lyman, Wyoming. Following a brilliant undergraduate career here, he received an MS from Washington State and a PhD from Harvard. He was on Stanford University's faculty from 1940 to 1948, when he returned to Harvard as associate professor and director of the Gray Herbarium. In 1954, he was named to a most distinguished Harvard chair, the Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany, a position which he's held as emeritus since retiring in 1981.
He edited the journal Rhodora for 13 years, and Contributions from the Gray Herbarium for 30. More than 200 of his papers have been published in professional journals. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he's been awarded the Centenary Medal of the French Botanical Society, the Certificate of Merit of the Botanical Society of America, the 25th Anniversary Medal of the Organization for Tropical Studies (which he helped found), and two medals from the International Botanical Congress. He's held top offices in the American Society of Naturalists, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Botanical Society of America, and the International Association for Plant Taxonomy. Looking back at his time on campus, Rollins says: "The University opened a whole new world for me. For the first time in my life, I found there was a source from which my questions about almost anything could be satisfactorily answered. Sometimes it was my professor, sometimes it was other students, sometimes it was the library. Having found the sources of information almost inexhaustible, I was stimulated to ask more questions, to make as many inquiries into the nature of things as time permitted, especially in the sciences. Many times I was almost overwhelmed by the satisfaction that came my way during my four years there."
*In loving memory.