Archives & Special Collections are pleased to present the James R. Slater papers, 1919-1983, which document the personal and professional life of a distinguished former University of Puget Sound biology professor. James Rodenburg Slater (1890-1989), a native New Yorker, graduated from Syracuse University in 1913. He went on to serve in World War I as a member of the United States’ first-ever Air Force division. Slater began working at Puget Sound in 1919. An expert herpetologist (amphibian and reptile specialist), he founded our Museum of Natural History in 1930, which has grown to hold almost 80,000 biological samples. Slater was well-known throughout the field of biology, and received several awards for his progress in pedagogy and research. In 1986, Washington State Governor Booth Gardner declared Dr. James R. Slater Appreciation Day. Gardner remarked upon how Slater “touched the lives of thousands of Washington State Residents.” He also received the Syracuse Chancellor’s Certificate of Recognition in 1965, the Alexander Winchell Distinguished Alumni Award, a commendation from Rutgers, and Emeritus Life Membership from Phi Kappa Phi in 1985.
Visit the Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections to take a look at Slater’s personal photograph collection (dating back to the early twentieth century), research materials, and correspondence.
By Maya Steinborn