The Watkins Visiting Professorship was created in 1974 by a grant from the Watkins Foundation. E. A. Watkins was Vice President of the Union National Bank, Wichita in 1936 when he acquired a small iron foundry and wholesale hardware firm that he built into Watkins, Inc., a major steel fabrication and industrial supply company. His son, E. Leon Watkins, a 1936 University alumnus, succeeded his father as president of the firm. After Leon Watkins' death in 1971, his widow, Roberta - who is also an WSU alumna - announced that the Watkins' Foundation Board of Trustees had determined that "the sole project of the foundation shall be the support of the Watkins Visiting Professorship at Wichita State University." The departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics share the professorship.

Watkins Professors of the last ten years are as follows:

Dr. Gary Brudvig

Yale University

October 8-9, 2002

Drs. Nancy and Jerry Jaax Kansas State University April 12, 2002
Mario Capecchi University of Utah School of Medicine February 11-13, 2001
Pat Higgins University of Alabama March 29-30, 2001
Ahmed H. Zewail California Institute of Technology September 26, 2001
Niles Eldredge American Museum of Natural History October 8-11, 2001
Michael Gross Washington University Center for Biomedical and Bioorganic Mass Spectometry October 23-26, 2001
Alan Feduccia University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Oct. 31-Nov.1, 2001
George Gokel Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Nov. 27-30, 2001
William Rathje Arizona Garbage Project March 1, 1999
Inder Verma Salk Institute April 1, 1999
Robert Ballard Institute for Exploration September 1, 1999
Colleen Cavanaugh Harvard University October 1, 1999
Peter Glynn University of Miami November 1, 1999
Robert M. Bigsby Indiana University School of Medicine March 1, 1998
H. Leon Bradlow Rockefeller University March 1, 1998
Theo Colborn World Wildlife Fund March 1, 1998
Robert J. Kavlock National Health & Environmental Effects Research Laboratory March 1, 1998
Dolores Lamb Baylor College of Medicine March 1, 1998
Daniel M. Sheehan National Center for Toxicological Research March 1, 1998
Ana M. Soto Tufts Unviersity School of Medicine March 1, 1998
Frederick S. Vom Saal University of Missouri March 1, 1998
Richard Alley Pennsylvania State University March 1, 1997
Fred MacKenzie University of Hawaii March 1, 1997
Robert Berner Yale University April 1, 1997
Daniel B. Botkin George Mason University April 1, 1997
Julius Rebek Scripps Research Institute November 1, 1997
Robert Ginsburg University of Miami December 1, 1997
Luther Williams National Science Foundation February 1, 1996
Keith Solomon University of Guelph February 1, 1996
Leroy Hood University of Washington March 1, 1996
Arnold Arons Univesity of Washington April 1, 1996
Shelia Tobias Author April 1, 1996
Crow, James F. University of Wisconsin January 1, 1995
Hendee, William R. Medical College of Wisconsin March 1, 1995
Lipscomb Jr., William Harvard University April 1, 1995
Olson, Eric University of Texas April 1, 1995
Martin, Yvonne C. Abbott Laboratories April 1, 1995
Bakker, Robert University of Colorado April 1, 1994
Ratner, Buddy D. University of Washington April 1, 1994
Sessler, Jonathon University of Texas October 1, 1994
Wolynes, Peter G. University of Illinois February 1, 1993
Hubbard, Ruth Harvard University March 1, 1993
Simpson, Evan R. University of Texas April 1, 1993
Krantz, Allen Syntex Research, Canada April 1, 1993
Karplus, Martin Harvard University May 1, 1993
Hauptman, Herbert Medical Foundation of Buffalo October 1, 1993
Eldredge, Niles American Museum of Natural History October 1, 1993
Karger, Barry L. Northeastern University November 1, 1993