Clemson mourns the death of Professor Jerry Waldvogel
Jerry Waldvogel, 55, professor of biological sciences, died Saturday, May 30, after suffering a heart attack at his home.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, in the Class of 1943 Carillon Garden, followed by a reception in the lobby of Tillman Hall. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be relocated to Tillman Hall auditorium.
“Jerry was a much loved and respected member of the Clemson family,” said Provost Dori Helms. “We have lost a great scholar, teacher and friend.”
After joining the Clemson faculty in 1989, Waldvogel quickly distinguished himself as an engaged and committed member of the university community and a resourceful teacher. He presented lectures on evolution costumed and in the character of Charles Darwin and asked his students to write poetry about biology. In 1991 he chaired an ad hoc committee charged with finding ways to enhance the Clemson experience for students — freshman convocation was one idea conceived through this effort.
During his undergraduate years, Waldvogel was the quarterback for the Stanford University football team. He turned down offers to play professionally in favor of earning a Ph.D. in behavioral biology from Cornell University. He did post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania on fellowships through the National Institute of Mental Health and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In a 2002 Stanford Magazine profile, Waldvogel explained his love of the discipline. “I honestly believe that this is the coolest stuff you can learn about,” he says. “How can you not have fun in a course about sex, drugs and violence? That’s biology.”
Waldvogel was a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers and the South Carolina Science Council; a member of the Executive Committee of South Carolinians for Science Education; a Dixon Scholars Senior Fellow; and an honorary member of the Clemson Class of ‘39.
He received numerous honors and awards during his career, including:
- 1997 Alumni Master Teacher
- 2001 Class of 1939 Award for Excellence
- 2002 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award, presented by the National Society for College Science Teachers
- 2008 Robert S. Campbell Award for Faculty Achievement in Communication Across the Curriculum, presented by the Pearce Center for Professional Communication
Waldvogel is survived by his wife, Sherry Waldvogel and a daughter, Sarah Waldvogel, 13, of the home; his mother, Alice Waldvogel, of San Diego; and two brothers, Jim and Jeff Waldvogel.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to:
Biological Sciences Curriculum Study
c/o Clemson University Foundation
PO Box 1889
Clemson, SC 29633-1889
Or contributions to a fund for the future education of Waldvogel’s daughter can be made at any BB&T bank branch or mailed to:
Sarah Waldvogel Education Fund
1070 Tiger Boulevard
Clemson, SC 29631