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IN REMEMBRANCE: Professor Emeritus Nicholas Hartwig ’58

Horizons Spring 2023 Home

In Remembrance - Spring 2023

June 15, 2023

Professor emeritus Nicholas Hartwig ’58 passed away on October 16, 2022.

He first joined Graceland’s faculty in the fall of 1965 on a one-year temporary assignment, filling in for a professor on sabbatical. He returned on a permanent basis in the fall of 1967 and served for many years in the biology department, teaching courses such as botany, zoology, paleontology, and horticulture.

Hartwig also taught Genetics to the Pre-Med and Pre-Nursing students, and was proud that he was teaching future healthcare workers; two of his former students became his physicians. He drove weekly from Lamoni to the Independence, Missouri, campus for 20 years to teach genetics to nursing students. For many years, he taught popular winter term courses in marine biology in Grand Cayman.

Hartwig was also passionate about plants, introduced courses in ecology, and drew up the plans for the science building’s animal quarters and greenhouse, which he received a grant to build. In that greenhouse, he grew plants for classes and crossbred many orchids. Over the years, he created many beautiful orchid hybrids, which his wife, Merilou, would make into corsages for special occasions. He also maintained plants in all buildings on campus.

Hartwig’s influence remains to this day. He and Merilou were “town parents” to dozens of students over the years. At Homecoming in 2023, Graceland will dedicate the greenhouse to Hartwig in a ceremony on Saturday.

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