Ray C. Friesner
Dr. Ray C.
Friesner was born in 1894 in Bremen, Ohio. He received his A.B.
from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1916 and his Ph.D. in 1919 from
the University of Michigan. He was an instructor at the University
of Michigan during 1918 and 1919. In the fall of 1919 he became
assistant professor of botany in the Biology Department of Butler
University, Indianapolis. He became the head of the new Department
of Botany the following year. In 1947 he was appointed Dean of the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and retained both positions
until his death on December 1, 1952.
Dr. Friesner met Dr. Charles C. Deam, nationally-known Indiana
botanist and author of "Flora of Indiana" and other books on
Hoosier plants and became interested in field taxonomy as practiced
by Dr. Deam. He set about collecting and identifying every species
of higher plant unreported for Indiana or for the county in which
it was found. His collections total 25,500 and are housed at the
Friesner Herbarium, Butler University. Dr. Friesner was also a
widely recognized authority on the goldenrods, in which he
published monographs. Each year he compiled the Indiana Plant
Distributions Records, supplements to Deam's "Flora of
Dr. Friesner was secretary of the Indiana Academy of Science
from 1926 to 1935, and president in 1936. He was active on many of
the Academy committees and in the botany, taxonomy, and history of
science meetings. He compiled an index of the Indiana Academy of
Science Proceedings from 1941 to 1950.
During his more than
thirty years of service to the Botany Department at Butler
University, Dr. Friesner supervised the development of the
departmental library and the Butler University Botanical Studies.
Under his direction the department was able to expand its course
offerings and grow. In a plaque erected by his students, Dr.
Friesner is remembered as an inspirational and understanding
teacher, a sympathetic and generous friend, a wise counselor, and a
renowned scientist in the field of botany.