Dr. Fred M. Garland, Professor
Fred McKee Garland was born in Corsicana, Texas on March 16, 1912. Being educated in the Texas public schools, he graduated from Ft. Worth Polytechnic High School in 1929. He received the B.S. degree from Trinity University at Waxahachie in 1934, the M.S. degree in chemistry from Texas Tech University in 1936, and the Ph.D. degree in chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin in 1939. Dr. Garland was an assistant professor at Trinity University from 1939 to 1941 and a research chemist for Armour and Co., Chicago from 1941 to 1943. During World War II, he was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, ultimately serving as the Executive Officer of the 314th General Hospital in Manila, the Philippines until the end of the war.
Rather than return to the cold winters of Chicago, Dr. Fred M. Garland joined the Texas A&I University faculty in 1946 at a salary of $3200 for 9 month and retired in 1978 at a salary of $26,091 for 9 month. For 25 years he served Texas A&I as chairman of the chemistry department, and 16 years as the chairman of the health professions committee. Many of his students achieved advanced or professional degrees; by his own count, 16 PhD’s in chemistry and over 100 dentists and 100 physicians. But in his retirement letter to the president, "My most significant accomplishment has been the assembling of a very strong staff, perhaps the strongest on campus. The department is in good hands."
The chemistry faculty grew from two to seven, hiring 24 chemistry faculties, during his tenure as chairman. In addition, modern laboratory equipment and library holdings were added each year. Because of his persistence and leadership the department received American Chemical Society certification in 1972, which is still maintained. His commitment to the teaching profession was recognized in 1958 when he was one of six national finalists for the MCA Teaching Award and again in 1977 when he was honored with the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Award for "distinguished teaching on the college level" in Texas.
Dr. Garland died in 1980, but his legend lives on. He "lived" chemistry through his teaching, his students, and his faculty. As one of his students in the mid-’50’s aptly described him, "He could teach chemistry to a door knob."
In 1977, the Fred M. Garland Endowment Fund was established for the purpose of annually recognizing an undergraduate chemistry major that has shown professional promise in his/her academic achievements and leadership qualities at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. This endowment fund was built solely from the generous donations of former students and colleagues of Dr. Garland.
This page was last updated on: January 23, 2014