George W. Burns
Dr. George W. Burns was professor in Botany-Microbiology from 1946 until his retirement in 1979. He came to Ohio Wesleyan after serving as a Naval Meteorologist during World War II. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Burns received an AB from the University of Cincinnati. He did his graduate work in Botany at the University of Minnesota, receiving a PhD in 1941. Dr. Burns was a very popular professor in botany over the years, with many friends among the alumni. During his career he served as Acting Vice President and Dean and then went on to serve as Acting President during difficult times of transition at Ohio Wesleyan. Dr. Burns’ research took him to Alaska to study botanical indicators of glacial retreat. He worked with geologists at The Ohio State University on some of the first studies of climate change in North America. As genetics began evolving in the college curriculum, he developed courses at OWU that resulted in a textbook “The Science of Genetics” that went on to be published in 6 editions. He was a very accomplished scientist, teacher, meteorologist, ham radio operator and, most of all, a great friend to all whose lives he touched. George Burns died in April of 1994 after a long bout with cancer.