Baylor Community Mourns Death of Biology Professor

Aug. 10, 2005

by Judy Long

Dr. Daniel E. Wivagg, professor of biology and director of undergraduate studies, died Aug. 10 at the age of 61. Wivagg taught at Baylor University from 1979 until the present.

Born Nov. 14, 1943, in Worcester, Mass., Wivagg received his bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Massachusetts in 1965 and his doctorate in botany from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. From 1975 until 1979, he served as an assistant professor at Loyola University in Chicago.

During his tenure at Baylor, he published numerous articles on biology education, five biology textbooks and several peer-reviewed articles on a variety of biology research topics. He was the associate editor of "American Biology Teacher" magazine from 1985 until the present.

Dr. Robert Doyle, associate professor and chair of the biology department, said Wivagg's presence in the department will be sorely missed. He was a dedicated teacher and researcher who challenged and inspired his students.

"Daniel Wivagg was a professional botanical scientist and educator who quietly and professionally went about his duties, neither wanting not expecting accolades. His greatest contribution to science and to Baylor is his influence upon the many students that he mentored," Doyle said.

Wivagg served as chair of the board of directors for the Tapestry Institute in Harrison, Neb., a Native American science research and educational organization. The organization's web site called Wivagg a supporter and friend.

"He gifted us with his insight into science education, his vast knowledge on many wide-ranging subjects, and his wonderful sense of humor. Dan always had a warm and inviting smile, and he was the first to lend a hand, no matter the task. He loved the land, and he told all of us about the meaningful times he shared with his wife, Becky, when they would sit and watch their cattle and their horses as the sun set. We will miss Dan desperately," the Tapestry Institute web site said.

Wivagg is survived by his wife Rebecca; daughter Jennifer; son Jonathan, his wife, Jennifer and their daughter Allison; son Peter and his wife, Elizabeth; son Eric and his wife, Danielle; his first wife and his children's mother, Ann Wivagg; stepson, Cody Cassell; stepdaughter, Kelly Margot, her husband, Matthew, and their sons, Ethan and Augustus; and his brothers, Peter and Bob Wivagg.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at the OakCrest Funeral Home Chapel, 4520 Bosque Blvd., with the Rev. Larry Holden officiating. A reception with his family will immediately follow the service, and a memorial video of his life will be played during the reception.

Memorials may be sent to Tapestry Institute, PO Box 97, Harrison, NE 69346. To view or contribute to the memorial guestbook, go to

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