Charles Van Hise
  • First person to receive a Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin (Geology).
  • Entered the faculty immediately after graduating, and was a professor in several disciplines.
  • He was selected by the Board of Regents to become the president of the University of Wisconsin on April 21, 1903.
  • Helped in his selection by the support of Gov. Robert La Follette, another 1879 grad.
  • His leadership as president was responsible for tremendous growth and prosperity.
  • 1904 he declared that “the beneficent influence of the university (be) available to every home in the state” later articulated as the Wisconsin Idea
  • Died while still UW President in 1918.
  • The tallest building on campus named in his honor Van Hise Hall.
  • The first geologist in the Nation to apply microscopic lithology to the extensive study of crystalline rocks, and to use those results in the formulation of geological principles. Van Hise's emphasis on the quantitative application of physical and chemical laws to geological problems was one of his greatest contributions to the science of geology. His influential 1904 monograph, A Treatise on Metamorphism, moved geology out of the science of classification and into formulating principles. As a teacher, Van Hise earned a reputation for training geologists who matched his own high standards in scientific research.