Beloved educator, administrator, author George Barthalmus has passed away

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Johnny Wynne has informed the CALS faculty, staff and friends that Dr. George Barthalmus passed away. He died unexpectedly early on May 12.

A celebration of Barthalmus’ life took place May 15  at N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center. Scores of Barthalmus’ friends and colleagues — wearing colorful, casual dress as requested — attended and joined his family in reminiscing about his life and what he meant to his students, the university and all who knew him. 

“George made immense contributions to N.C. State University and the College over a long and distinguished career, ” Wynne said. “He was an extraordinary teacher, scientist and colleague. He will be missed.”

George Timothy  Barthalmus received a B.S. in biology at Bloomsburg University (Pa.) and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology at the Pennsylvania State University. He joined the Zoology Department (now Biology) at N.C. State in 1970. In 1994 he became assistant director of Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). In 1998 he became associate dean and director of Academic Programs. Dr. Barthalmus retired after 31 years in June 2001 to become Professor Emeritus of Zoology.

In 2002-03 he was invited to serve as interim director of the University Honors Program. He then fashioned a new N.C. State Office of Undergraduate Research in 2003 and then served as director. He spent 2005-06 in the added role of interim department head of Zoology.

He taught more than 16,000 N.C. State students during his 37 years and won three University Outstanding Teaching Awards, the NCSU Distinguished Alumni Undergraduate Professor Award, and the Outstanding Academic Adviser Award in CALS. He was past President of Phi Kappa Phi (2000-2001) and Chair of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers.

He also served for five years on the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for the State of North Carolina. His research focused on the behavioral toxicology and pharmacology of amphibian skin secretions. He has published dozens of research articles and book chapters and published novels that support his endowed scholarship fund for life sciences students. (Order the novels.)

Barthalmus developed and funded the new State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium for 2005 and 2006. He hosted the southeastern Reinvention Center meeting at N.C. State in 2007 and the ACC Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research conference in 2009.

On the occasion of his retirement, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, along with Barthalmus’ friends, colleagues and former students, created an endowment within the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc., to be known as the George T. and Marina T. Barthalmus Life Sciences Scholarship Endowment. This endowment provides support in perpetuity for students in life sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the endowment. The mailing address is N.C. Agricultural Foundation Inc., NCSU Campus Box 7645, Raleigh, NC 27695.

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