Colleagues, Students Honor Professors

May 28, 2009
Dr. William D. Hillis, BS '53, who serves as The Cornelia Marschall Smith Distinguished Professor of Biology at Baylor University, has been honored with another distinction named for the revered professor: the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award.

"It is certainly considered by me the honor of a lifetime, because I knew and loved Cornelia Marschall Smith," said Hillis, a recipient of numerous professor awards. "She was the professor responsible not only for me going to medical school, but to Johns Hopkins. I held her as a real treasure throughout her life and my 25 years back at Baylor."

The annual award is presented to a Baylor faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor. As this year's recipient, Hillis will receive $20,000.

"Dr. Hillis has served Baylor and our broader constituency in a wide variety of capacities, ranging from participating in research that addresses critical global health concerns to fulfilling two vice-presidencies at Baylor," said Dr. James Bennighof, vice provost for academic affairs.

Dr. David W. Eldridge, professor of biology and director of clinical laboratory science at Baylor University, has been selected by this year's senior class as the 2009 Collins Outstanding Professor, an annual award provided by the Carr P. Collins Foundation that recognizes and honors extraordinary teachers at Baylor.

"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the students you work with," said Eldridge. "It is good to know that they have respect for you and know that what you do in the classroom is designed to benefit them."

Eldridge came to Baylor in 1968. In his 41 years at Baylor, Eldridge has taught introductory botany, microbiology, introductory biology, bacteriology and cellular physiology. Eldridge also serves as director of the clinical laboratory science degree and adviser for premedical students, predental students and biology majors.

The Collins Professor receives a cash award of $10,000.
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