SEARCH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Prepared by Jeff Geiger, November 19, 2002
1 record storage box, 1 cubic foot, 11th floor
Ralph W. Dexter was an eminent professor of biology at Kent State University. His career started at Kent State in 1937. He retired in 1982, thus earning the honor of the longest tenure of any professor at Kent State: 45 years. His primary research area was the ecology of marine communities, including mollusks, crustaceans and birds. His research into marine life focused on malacology. He also focused in on the history of American naturalists. At Kent State, he gained noteriety for his research over many years on chimney swifts. This led to the current design of the University seal, adopted in the 1960s, which includes an image of the chimney swift over the rising sun. The chimney swift is said to represent the research aspect of the University. Dexter was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award, and the President's Medal, which is given for distinguished service on behalf of the University.
Dexter was born in 1912 in Gloucester, Mass. He received his bachlor's degree in zoology from the University of Massachusetts. He received his doctorate in zoology from the University of Illinois, before joining the faculty of Kent State. Dexter is often referred to as one of the last true biologists, who knew something about every dicipline within biology. He died in October of 1991, at the age of 79.
This collection, part of a larger series of files to be processed in the future, contains publications of Ralph Dexter, dating from 1942 to 1986. Also included is a folder of undated articles. These articles cover a wide variety of topics that include, but are not limited to, his research into the chimney swifts, night hawks, lobsters, marine life off the cost of Massachusetts, and other topics related to biology.
Please note that a large collection of unprocessed Ralph Dexter papers are also housed in Special Collections and Archives. Please contact the department for additional details.