Francis A. & Jane Davies Gunther Endowed Graduate Award in Entomology


Entomology Dept D01048


Graduate Student Support

History and Purpose:

Established in December 1987 by Theodore and Nancy Gunther Beck, the children of Francis Gunther, the Francis A. and Jane Davies Gunther Scholarship provides student assistance in the form of scholarships to graduate students in Entomology.

Francis Gunther (1928-1985) studied pesticides and pesticide residues in the environment for 44 years. According to colleagues, "His career coincided with the development of virtually all of our present day chemical resources in protection of our crops from infestation by arthropod pests." He was hired in 1941 as a laboratory assistant in the Division of Entomology of the Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside. After he received his PhD from UCLA, he was promoted to assistant insect toxicologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1947. He advanced to full title in 1956. In 1961, when UCR established its Graduate Division, Dr. Gunther was given the title of Professor of Entomology and Chemistry. Dr. Gunther published more than 300 works, including two books. He participated in advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, National Research Council, Food & Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Gunther's friends and colleagues noted that his leadership arose not only from his insight, perspicacity and diligence in pursuing research and editorial goals, but also from his high order of talent as an organizer and administrator. Tubber, as he was affectionately known by colleagues, was a man of unfailing courtesy and a gifted sense of humor. He was a man of considerable presence, consistency and stability, enduring character--a true conservative. For many years he held a certain place at a table for luncheon in the University Club, where he and his friends enjoyed each other's conversation and companionship. He refused to discuss politics, never raised his voice in anger, maintaining a calm and considerate demeanor under all circumstances.

Dr. Gunther valued his family. He and his wife, Samerida Jane Davies, had four sons, a daughter, and several grandchildren. Mrs. Gunther collaborated with her husband on much of his editorial work. She is the author of Riverside County, California, Place Names: Their Origins and Their Stories.


The income from this endowment shall be used to provide an award to attract and retain exemplary graduate students in entomology, with preference given to those students with demonstrated financial need and focusing on the impact of chemicals on pest insects and natural enemies.

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