Fairfield University announces the Donald J. Ross Sr. Chair in Biology and Biochemistry

Fairfield University announces the Donald J. Ross Sr. Chair in Biology and Biochemistry

Image: Donald Ross Fairfield University has announced the establishment of the Donald J. Ross Sr. Chair in Biology and Biochemistry. At a ceremony in the MacDonnell Atrium of the Rudolph F. Bannow Science Center on Monday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m., Dr. Glenn Sauer, associate professor and past chair of the Biology Department will be installed as the first holder of the chair.

Dr. Ross, whose passion and devotion to the university he served for 58 years helped generations of students enroll in top medical schools throughout the country, was highly regarded in the science and health fields. He helped guide over 800 future doctors and dentists into medical schools and countless others into various science and health fields.

In making the announcement, Rev. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., senior vice president for academic affairs, said, "This lasting memorial to the excellent example of teaching and mentoring set by Dr. Ross is most fitting. He was among the best of the founding cohort of professors here at Fairfield who set us on track to be who we have become - one of the top universities in the country in terms of the quality of our teaching and, consequently, of our students' success."

Dr. Ross taught at Fairfield from 1950 until his death in 2008, offering courses in biology and biochemistry that were always fully enrolled. Alumni, faculty and friends remember his great enthusiasm for teaching and research as well as his outgoing and gregarious nature. He was a strong proponent of Jesuit education and lived his life committed to the principles of St. Ignatius Loyola.

Recognized as one of the Outstanding Educators in America, Dr. Ross was honored with the Fairfield University Silver Jubilee Faculty Award in 1975 and the Fairfield University Distinguished Faculty Service Award in 1978, and the Fairfield University Teacher of the Year Award in 1988.

Dr. Sauer, who received his Ph.D. in marine science from the University of South Carolina, has been teaching at Fairfield since 2000. He teaches courses in biochemistry, endocrinology, and general biology. He also teaches "God & Modern Biology," a course that examines various topics in science and religion. His research interests include the cell and developmental biology of bones and cartilage as well as the biochemistry of zinc and other trace metals.

The dedication of the chair, made possible by the gifts of various donors in honor of Dr. Ross, "brings comfort to our family because Dad will be remembered by the university he loved and to which he dedicated 58 years of his life," said Christine Ross Earls, professor of the practice of biology, and Dr. Ross' daughter. She said, "Particularly touching is that so many of his former students contributed to the establishment of this Chair in his honor."

In addition to the installation of the Chair, a Biology Seminar Series in memory of Dr. Ross will be held on the last Wednesday of each month from September to April from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room. Leading off the series on Sept. 28 is Fairfield Alumna Carolyn Stankiewicz Scholber, a post-doctoral fellow in the Pathology Department at Yale University's School of Medicine.

Posted On: 09-20-2011 11:09 AM

Volume: 44 Number: 42