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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 59, Number 11 (March 1958)

Conrad Arnold Elvehjem: 13th president of the University,   pp. [2]-[7]


Page 4


Young, noted that the new president holds "the greatest
respect" within the faculty and his appointment will be
applauded by them. "He will continue to give the kind of
leadership that has made the University great," Prof. Young
predicted.
  Dean R. K. Froker of the 'College of Agriculture, who
headed a dean's advisory committee, declared: "We're happy
that the new president has been chosen from within the
faculty."
  President Fred called his successor "top-notch in every
way, a fine and able man. The Regents have made an unques-
tionably wise decision".
T HAT FELLOW ALUMNI would lend the new president
warmest support was evident in immediate reaction by
those closest to the University.
  Dr. John A. Keenan, president of the Wisconsin Alumni
Association and a former graduate student of Dr. Elvehjem,
expressed complete satisfaction with the Regents' action.
  It was recalled that in 1954, the Wisconsin Alumni Asso-
ciation presented a distinguished service award to Dr. Elveh-
jem, which read:
   "This Citation for Distinguished Service is awarded to
Conrad A. Elvehjem for his significant contributions to the
University of Wisconsin as administrator, professor, and
scientific investigator; his invaluable service to Wisconsin
alumni through his leadership in the Wisconsin Alumni
Association as director, treasurer and chairman of its student
awards committee; his inspirational aid to Wisconsin students
Dr. Elvehlem first gained prominence as a scientist, later combined
his biochemistry research and   leaching with administrative duties.
4
as teacher and adviser; and his monumental accomplishments
in the field of nutrition that have gained him world-wide
renown.
  Such honors have come in quantity to this 100 percent
Wisconsin product who was born on May 27, 1901, in Mc-
Farland, Wis. He was awarded his bachelor of science degree
from the University in 1923, his doctorate in 1927. He began
teaching at the University in 1923, became a full professor
in 1935 and was elected chairman of Wisconsin's famed
biochemistry department. He has continued in the latter
capacity while serving since 1946 as Graduate School dean.
  Possessor of an unassuming Norwegian manner and a
pleasing way of making difficult tasks look easy, Dr. Elvehjem
gained international prominence late in the 1930's when he
isolated nicotinic acid-leading directly to the cure for
human pellagra. He has been a leader in research in nutri-
tion and Vitamin B Complex work.
  ,In 1939 Dr. Elvehjem received the Mead Johnson award
for research; in 1943 the Willard Gibbs medal of the Amer-
ican Chemical society; in 1948 the Nicholas Appert medal;
in 1950 the Osborne-Mendal award from the American Insti-
tute of Nutrition; in 1952 the Lasker award in medical
research from the American Public Health Assn., and in
1956 the Charles F. Spencer award for meritorious contribu-
tion to food and agricultural chemistry.
   A noted science writer, Paul deKruif, once summed up
Elvehjem's qualifications in scientific research. "He is one of
the absolutely top men in the United States in his nutritional
field-he is leading the way into new efforts with vision,
with perspective and with amazing ability."
  Such appraisals are solidly based on Dr. Elvehjem's many
accomplishments. He is author or coauthor of more than 780
scientific papers on biochemistry and nutrition. He is a mem-
ber of a large number of scientific organizations, including
the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philo-
sophical Society; he is a past president of the American Insti-
tute of Nutrition. In 1953, he became the second Wisconsin
faculty member to be elected to the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences. Dr. Elvehjem is chairman of the Food and
Nutrition Board of the National Research Council and is a
charter member of that organization. He is also a member of
the Council of Foods and Nutrition of the American Medical
Association, and has been active in the National Heart Coun-
cil, National Dental Council, American Cancer Society and
government advisory groups.
WVHEN DR. ELVEHJEM takes over the presidential
suite of offices at 161 Bascom Hall in mid-summer of
1958, it will mark the beginning of a new way of life for
him . . . and his family. He noted, somewhat regretfully:
   "I'll have to give up my professional work-my teaching
and research. But there are many young men who can do the
work."
  Dr. Elvehjem remarked that his graduate student load was
fortunately at a low point.
   Of course, Dr. Elvehjem's experience as Graduate School
Dean and biochemistry department chairman has given him
more than a taste of administration, so he's prepared for the
inevitables of the presidency.
                       Wisconsin Alumnus, March, 1958


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