Giants Stepping Down

In 2006 the College is saying farewell and thank you to eight notable teachers, guides, and counselors who together have served BYU for 276 years and taught tens of thousands of students.


Richard W. Baumann

Professor Richard W. BaumannRichard W. Baumann (Integrative Biology) came to BYU in 1975 from the Smithsonian Institute where he was a research entomologist with the U.S. national collection of insects. At BYU he taught many courses including entomology, and beginning and freshwater biology. Baumann was the inaugural director of the M. L. Bean Museum and served as the editor of the Great Basin Naturalist (later the Western North American Naturalist). Richard says:

"My 31 years at BYU have been very enjoyable. The students have been the highlight of my career; I remind them that there is always room at the top. To young entering faculty I say—depress your ego and serve others."

In retirement Richard plans to spend more time with his wife Myrna, keep studying stoneflies, and work at the temple.



Don Bloxham

Professor Don Bloxham
Don Bloxham (Health Professions) came to BYU in 1978 from Case Western Reserve University where he was assistant professor
of medicine and director of the Clinical Pharmacology Hemodynamics Laboratory. "I have directed the BYU Health Professions Office— but my unofficial title," he said smiling, "has been 'Caretaker of the Paranoid.'" Just under 10,000 anxious students have come through the program and applied to professional schools (2/3 of them were accepted).

Don has most enjoyed watching students work hard and achieve their goals. His advice to them is: Read good books—as many as you can." To young faculty he says: "Enjoy it now because the end will come quickly."

Don and his wife De will be going on a mission soon, while she is still ahead of rheumatoid arthritis. After that: family and church.



Jack Brotherson

Professor Jack BrothersonJack Brotherson (Integrative Biology) left Iowa State University (Ph.D.) in 1969 and signed on at BYU where he taught 32 different classes including ecology, range management, forest management, and environmental biology. He served for 12 years on BYU's admissions committee and scholarship committee.  

Jack says he is most fortunate to have worked with thousands of bright spiritual students. He tells them: "Get to know the resource base that you'll manage on the job after you graduate." He has especially enjoyed his annual fall and spring semester ecology field trips with them.

"Young faculty," says Jack, "should set their goals at the beginning to become a scholar, but never forget the students, and their home and family; they are the reason they're here." Jack is already writing a book "Leaves of Experience" based on his church labors. He'll ride horses on his ranch and with his wife Karen enjoy grandchildren.



Dwain Horrocks

Professor Dwain HorrocksDwain Horrocks (Plant & Animal Sciences) came to BYU in 1978 from the University of Missouri to continue his career in crop and forage management. He was chair of Agronomy & Horticulture for seven years, and associate editor for Agronomy Journal for 14 years.

Dwain says he wouldn't trade his BYU experience for anything—going to work each day was a delight. He especially cherishes those students who caught fire under his guidance.

"My advice to new faculty is - reach out beyond your narrow discipline while at BYU and demonstrate to students what being educatedmeans. My advice to students is – there are no limits to what you can accomplish if you put your mind and heart into your studies.

 Dwain and his wife Barbara will do some traveling and look for service opportunities including a mission for the Church.



Sheldon Nelson

Professor Sheldon NelsonSheldon Nelson (Plant & Animal Sciences) started at BYU in 1972 after a post-doctorate with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Riverside, California, where he obtained his Ph.D. At BYU Nelson has taught courses in general soils, soil taxonomy, soil physics, and saline and sodic soil management. His research was focused on agricultural environmental issues. For the past three years he served as chair of Plant and Animal Sciences.

Sheldon has had a great love for BYU since childhood and feels especially blessed to have been able to work closely with so many good and honorable people. He has often said, "Every day at BYU was a great adventure" and "there really is no place like BYU."

Sheldon and Cheryl plan to spend more time with family and hope to serve a church mission.



H. Duane Smith

Professor H. Duane SmithH. Duane Smith (Integrative Biology) came to BYU in 1969 from the University of Illinois (Ph. D.). He researched and taught vertebrate zoology and the natural history and management of wildlife. He was chair of Zoology for six years and director of the M. L. Bean Museum for twelve years. Dr. Smith wanted to share the following:

"I want to thank all of my colleagues who have helped me enjoy this incredible journey. I could never have done it without them.

"I have taught and served the most talented student body in the entire world; they are a choice generation in whom I place my trust. To them I say, you have been given the divine right of stewardship; use your education to optimize this right.

In retirement Duane and his wife Dahnelle will continue to support fund-raising efforts for the Bean Museum. They hope to serve a mission for the LDS Church.



Stan Welsh

Professor Stan WelshStan Welsh (Integrative Biology) came to BYU in 1960 from Iowa State University (Ph.D.). He is the botanist on campus and in the state of Utah. The BYU Herbarium, to which he has dedicated his career and resources, is named after him. He was director of the M.L. Bean Museum for six years.

Stan has published twenty books and over 150 publications. He has established two endowments: one in support of the herbarium and the
other to support publications about Utah flora. "I most appreciate the exceptional librarians and collections at BYU," he said. "The
highlight of my career has been teaching plant taxonomy every fall to wonderful students. I believe I have taught 25,000 of them over 46 years"

In retirement Stan and his wife, Stella, will continue to enjoy their extensive garden. "I won't go big game hunting in Africa again,"
he said, "not until April." Stan will continue to collect plants and upgrade BYU's herbarium.



Frank Williams

Professor Frank Williams
Frank Williams (Plant & Animal Sciences) came to BYU in 1971 from Oregon State University (PhD). He taught 35 different classes including weed ecology, orchard management, saline and alkaline soils, and family food and production. He has received awards for his work with the cities and State of Utah in areas such as orchard and golf course management, composting, bio-solids utilization, and wetlands enhancement.

Frank cherishes the lasting friendships he has with students and Utah communities. A highlight was taking 30 students to Hawaii for
a month to work with the Polynesian Cultural Center and its fruit (mango and papaya) farm.

"My advice to students is—never stop learning; my advice to faculty is—never stop learning." Frank will spend time with his wife Karilyn, and continue his work for Utah cities with their composting programs, golf courses, and water effluent management.