Southeastern News

Biology Herbarium dedicated to former professors

Dr. Connie Taylor receives a plaque from Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Connie Taylor receives a plaque from Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of Biological Sciences.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University officially dedicated the Biology Herbarium to former biology professors Connie Taylor and the late John Taylor Thursday afternoon. During their combined 50-plus years of service to Southeastern students, the Taylors taught courses not only within, but also outside their areas of specialty.

Dr. John Taylor taught in the Biological Sciences department from 1961-1990

with a specialty in plant ecology. Dr. Connie Taylor, whose specialty was systematic botany, taught from 1970-1998. The Taylors were honored with the Distinguished Former Faculty Award by the University in 2005.

A major lasting contribution of the Taylors was to the herbarium at Southeastern, located in the Biology Building. A herbarium is a research collection of pressed, dried and labeled plant specimens arranged by a classification scheme. The Taylors collected about 100,000 plant specimens, many of which remain in the 15,000-specimen herbarium on the Durant campus. They traded many of their specimens with other herbaria, including the one at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Taylors produced these specimens largely on their own time and at their own expense. They also obtained the herbarium cabinets at no expense to the school. To replace these cabinets at modern prices would exceed $107,000.

Offering remarks were biological sciences professor Dr. Stanley Rice, and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. Dr. Connie Taylor attended the official dedication ceremony, along with a number of friends, faculty and staff members.