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Arthur Beyer Biography
Steven Manchester




Friday, February 15, 2002 03:03:18 PM

Arthur Beyer Biography

From: joe winstead

Subject: Re: Art Beyer

Professor Beyer got me into Botany and Ecology with his enthusiasm and his making me assist in freshman botany labs when I was a second semester freshman. At one point in his career he had sent some 21 of us on to graduate school in botany and/or biology and that number is just the ones that I have met. He never published much as he was so busy helping students and being involved in almost every event at Midwestern. He drug me kicking and screaming to a Texas Academy of Science meeting where we coauthored a paper on the finding of Metasequoiadendron in the Eocene of Texas. I didn't know a thing about the significance of that (probably still don't) but he gave me confidence to explore and to get involved. He had been a lab assistant to E. Lucy Braun and made me read the ecology chapter of Tippo's General Botany Book which got me interested in plant ecology as I could relate some of his stories about field trips with Braun to that reading. I would have never gotten to graduate school if he hadn't given me such great recommendations that overshadowed my rather average grades. When I became a faculty member at Western Kentucky University he sent me my first MS student which propelled me toward tenure and promotion. -Joe Winstead Feb.1, 2000

This is copied from the local newspaper article:

Revered ex-MSU professor dies at 77. Beyer credited with helping build school

Times Record News, Dec 23, 1999: Arthur F. Beyer, a revered botany professor who taught at Midwestern State University for 43 years, died Tuesday in a Wichita Falls hospital. He was 77. "Dr. Beyer was a gentleman and a scholar, a superb human being, an outstanding motivator, a person who loved his teaching, students, MSU and Wichita Falls. He will be missed by many different individuals" said MSU president Louis Rodriguez. "He literally helped build the University, physically and
academically," said Jesse W. Rogers, MSU's vice president for academic affairs. "He will be synonymous with Midwestern State forever. He's going to be missed and I feel like his legend will grow."

Nancy Scott, who was hired by Beyer to teach biology at the college in 1963, called Beyer a master teacher and "Mr. Midwestern." The school's alumnus of the year award is named for Beyer, and he was named the University's 1999 Legacy Walk Honoree.

Beyer's students remember him as a lively professor who was full of stories and enthusiasm for his subject. "He told us how he and his wife spent their honeymoon staring at the ground, studying flowers and plant life," said Rachel Bunsold, who took Beyer's botany class as a student at MSU in the early 1990's. "When he was telling a story, he'd wave his arms around like he was a conductor."

Norman Horner, dean of MSU's school of science and mathematics, described Beyer as a teacher who always belied in giving students a chance. He remained friends with his students after they left MSU, Honer said.

"He was just a tremendous individual, and a tremendous educator. He loved Midwestern-he dedicated his life to the betterment of the university. He's going to leave a big void" Honer said.

Beyer was a professor who encouraged students to make the most of their potential, said Ed Tschabold, a former student and longtime friend. Tschabold went to graduate school on Beyer's prompting, he said, and went on to work for Eli Lilly as a research biochemist. He returned to Wichita Falls when he retired and became a close friends with Beyer, he said.

"He was probably as much of a father to me as any person could have been," Tschablod said. "He is personally more responsible for any success I've had than any individual. He got me a job, he provided the incentive for me to do well, he made me believe in myself."

County judge Woody Gossom worked with Beyer at MSU, coordinating student organizations and events such as the college's homecoming celebration. Homecoming won't be the same without him this year, Gosom said.

"Art Beyer was every student's mentor and friend. He started doing public services and awareness for MSU before most public institutions even thought about doing that sort of thing," Gossom said.

Beyer moved to Wichita Falls from Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950 after receiving a masters's degree from Ohio State University of Cincinnati. He was the chairman of the biology department at MSU from 1960 to 1981, and was voted Faculty member of the Year four times by the student government.


Posted 12/8/00 4:31 pm By Steven Manchester
Responses:
Tom Beatty


tkbpop@sprintmail.com

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 07:44:02 PM
I arrived on MU (now MSU) campus after "Doc" Beyer was well established as the sparkplug of the biological sciences department, in 1958. During my 2.5 years on campus, I came to know and respect him immensely. In fact I even worked for him as Doc was the head of campus beautification project and gave student employment to many financially struggling students. I was one of Doc's weed pullers/lawn mowers/ditch digging tree planters. I have met few people that everyone liked and did not have a bad word for. Doc was such a person; even students who earned Ds and the rare F, had no unkind words for Doc--- they knew he taught but they failed to learn. I fininshed my BS, not in bontany with Doc, but in Mathematics, in 1960 and went on "into the world." Like many other students, I attended several of his Christmas parties to meet again with Doc's fans. Later in his career he very generously came to San Antonio to help us establish and MSU Exes chapter for Bexar County, c. 1983. That is a stretch from Chairman of the Biology Department. He was a great influence on my life and I shall miss him. tomb




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