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Fred, Edwin Broun (22 March 1887–16 January 1981), bacteriologist and university president, was born in Middleburg, Virginia, the son of Samuel Rogers Fred, a landowner, and Catherine “Kate” Conway Broun. Fred’s interest in science began as a boy in Virginia. Having completed his B.S. at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) in 1907, Fred stayed on to complete his M.S. at the same institution in 1908. While pursuing this first phase of graduate work, he held an appointment as an assistant in bacteriology. For his doctoral work Fred went abroad in 1909, getting his Ph.D. from the University of Göttingen in Germany in 1911. This was a natural decision given that the virtues of German graduate education were extolled by many at VPI, including bacteriology professor Meade Ferguson, who himself received a Ph.D. at Göttingen. Fred studied under some of the leading scientists of the day, including bacteriologist Alfred Koch....

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Horsfall, Frank Lappin, Jr. (14 December 1906–19 February 1971), clinician, virologist, and administrator, was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Frank Horsfall, a physician, and Jessie Laura Ludden. Horsfall first wanted to become an engineer, but by the end of four years of college at the University of Washington, his interests had switched to medicine, and he entered McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Canada, in 1927....

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Rivers, Thomas Milton (03 September 1888–12 May 1962), medical scientist and research administrator, was born in Jonesboro, Georgia, the son of Alonzo Burrill Rivers, a farmer, cotton buyer, and warehouse owner, and Mary Martha Coleman. Rivers spent his childhood on the family farm and received only the barest education at the Middle Georgia Military Academy in Jonesboro. He enrolled at Emory College in Oxford, Georgia, in the fall of 1904, beginning as a “subfreshman” because of the limitations of his previous education. After five years, he graduated first in his class, with a higher average than any previous Emory student....

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Victor Clarence Vaughan. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Vaughan, Victor Clarence (27 October 1851–21 November 1929), biochemist and bacteriologist, was born in Mount Airy, Missouri, the son of John Vaughan and Adeline Dameron, farmers. He received his early education at home from his mother, from private tutors, and in a community schoolhouse. At the age of seventeen, he enrolled in Mt. Pleasant College, from which he graduated with a B.S. in 1872. Vaughan taught chemistry and Latin at Mt. Pleasant from his student days until 1874, when he moved to Hardin College, a women’s school, to teach the same subjects for a semester. In the fall of 1874, he enrolled in the University of Michigan to pursue graduate studies, his choice of institutions influenced by the fact that Michigan had a large, well-equipped chemistry laboratory. He received his M.S. in 1875 and his Ph.D. in 1876 for studies in chemistry, geology, and biology....