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The Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lectureship Endowment

The Department of Microbiology at North Carolina State University, along with the former students, associates, and friends of Dr. Gerald H. Elkan, is pleased to announce the establishment of an endowment in the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation. This endowment is to honor Dr. Elkan for his 40 years on the Microbiology faculty at the University; to express appreciation for his tireless efforts and dedication as a teacher, researcher, counselor and friend; and to recognize his devotion to students in helping them in their academic and professional development.

About Gerald Elkan

Dr. Elkan was awarded the Alexander Q. Holladay Medal for Excellence in 1996 — the highest award made by the University for faculty achievement. He is a fellow in both the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in International Education, and Who’s Who in the South and Southeast.

Dr. Elkan has authored two scientific books and dozens of refereed articles. He has given 20 invited plenary lectures at international meetings and has convened symposia at meetings here and abroad.

For several years, Dr. Elkan served as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ advisor to the Thomas Jefferson Scholars Program, a dual-discipline undergraduate program in CALS and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has led the “Jeffersonians” on many educational excursions nationally and internationally and continues to be a “guiding spirit” for the students involved in the program. His global experiences include serving as a visiting graduate professor at the National Agricultural University of Malaysia and faculty assessor there and at the National University of Malaysia. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Puerto Rico.


Testimonials from Gerald Elkan's Students and Colleagues

“I was captivated from the start as a student in Prof. Elkan's General Microbiology class. His excellence as a teacher inspired me to study microbiology. As a former graduate student of Prof. Elkan, I feel privileged to have studied under his tutelage and guidance (M.S. ‘81). The solid scientific foundation that I developed in the Microbiology Department at NC State as one of his students has been the cornerstone of my career in science.”
--James Ligon, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Biotechnology & Genomics Center, Novartis Agricultural Biotechnology Research; Adjunct Professor, Department of Microbiology, NC State

“Although honors such as Fulbright Research Fellowships and the Alexander Q. Holladay Medal (the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member by the Trustees and the University) have capped a career spanning close to 40 years, perhaps Dr. Elkan could best be judged by the caliber of students under his tutelage. Dr. Elkan has mentored more than 60 Ph.D. and Masters students who have gone on to positions with titles such as Professor, Dean, Senior Scientist, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, President, Department Head, Vice Chancellor and Manager — in both the public and private sectors. While it is safe to say that the careers of these students were heavily swayed by the ‘Elkan experience,’ it is hard to comprehend the extent of this influence or the number of generations he has touched.”
--T.J. Schneeweis, Department of Microbiology, NC State

“Dr. Elkan is the most dynamic individual I have ever met. He is an exemplary teacher and role model. His contribution to my education is immeasurable. As a scientist he taught me far more than scientific knowledge. He showed me the responsibility that a scientist has not only to his immediate community, but to the world at large. He showed me that the proper application of science could make the world a better place not simply in material terms, but in social terms as well. I was inspired by his contributions to the political life of his community, and was honored to have been included in some activities. What most impresses me is his limitless commitment to his students. Through his work with the Thomas Jefferson Scholars Program, I was able to see the world — and to find my own place in it. This accounts, at least in part, for my decision to study law.”
--Paul Zigas, B.A./B.S.‘98 and Thomas Jefferson Scholar alumnus; now at UNC School of Law


Help us Honor Dr. Elkan

The Gerald H. Elkan Distinguished Lectureship Endowment will honor Dr. Elkan in perpetuity. You may contribute securely online by clicking here.

Or, you may complete the appropriate Gift Intention Form (below) and mail it to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, NC State University Box 7645, Raleigh, NC, 27695.

Gift Intention Form

If you have any questions or require additional information, please call Chris Wessel at 919-515-7678.

Photo Archive:

Photos from the 3-31-2006 lecture featuring John Frost

Photos from the 3-26-2008 lecture featuring Arnold Demain