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When UT opened its doors in 1883, biology was not part of the curriculum, despite that faculty at the time pushed for representation of botany and physiology. “The new State University organized in 1883 had more ambitions than resources,” wrote Geneticist and UT professor Clarence Paul Oliver (1898 – 1991) in 1983. As with so many well-intentioned academic goals, funding was the major hinderance towards seeing the light of day. But in 1891, the Board of Regents voted the School of Biology into existence. Still, it seemed to be more in name than anything as the instructors who taught in the new school were trained in disparate fields such as “Ancient Languages.”

Eight years later in 1899, the School of Biology separated into the School of Botany and the School of Animal Biology. They both moved from the basement of the Old Main Building to a wing of the third floor which they shared with Geology. 1899 is also the year we will start our focus on the history of entomology at UT.

This is an evolving series and as new articles become available, they will be shared here.

Ants muller flies oz spermatostyle

PART 1: It Starts With Ants

PART 2: THE FLY YEARS

PART 3: OZ'S MOSQUITOES AND BEETLES