Bethel Remembers Professor Emeritus Elving Anderson

May 2, 2014 | 11:15 a.m.

By Tricia Theurer, Communications Specialist

Bethel Remembers Professor Emeritus Elving Anderson

Professor Emeritus Elving Anderson, a leading geneticist, died in March.

V. Elving Anderson, Ph.D., '41, S'43, Bethel professor of biology emeritus, died March 9 at age 92.

According to professor emeritus G.W. Carlson, who wrote a tribute to Anderson on the blog written by Associate Professor of history Chris Gehrz, “Anderson attended Bethel Junior College (A.A. degree), studied at the seminary, and then completed his B.A. in 1945 from the University of Minnesota. Bethel’s dean encouraged him to study zoology in graduate school so that he could come back and teach at Bethel. He received his doctorate in 1953 from the University of Minnesota. From 1946 to 1960, Elving served on the Bethel faculty, was head of the biology department (after Bethel became a four-year college in 1948) and served as dean of students. Later he was a member of Bethel’s Board of Regents.” Anderson left Bethel in 1961 to serve as a professor in the Dight Institute for Human Genetics at the University of Minnesota. He received Bethel’s distinguished alumni award in 1965.

Anderson conducted research in the genetics of breast cancer and epilepsy, served as president of Sigma Xi, American Scientific Affiliation, the Behavior Genetics Association, and the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies. He also volunteered with the United Way; Intervarsity Christian Fellowship; his church, Central Baptist Church of St. Paul, Minn.; and the community. He wrote books and articles concerning science and religion.

He retired from the University of Minnesota in 1991 but continued to work on epilepsy projects, present papers at major academic conferences, and reflect on the relationship between faith and science. Carlson wrote that “Anderson believed that ‘Christians are called to “team up” with Jesus Christ, in scientific work as in any other calling. Jesus offers guidance and assurance in thinking through the daily decisions each of us must make. And Jesus is a mighty good companion to have along the way.’”

If you’d like to donate to the Bethel Fund in honor of Anderson, please write “Elving Anderson” in the memo line of your check and mail it to: Office of Development, Bethel University, 3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112, or call 651.635. 8050.

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