Louis Begeman

May 19, 1958

To Members of the Faculty;

We have just received news of the death of Dr. Louis Begeman, Emeritus Professor of Physics and long-time member of this staff. Death occurred at Christie's Convalescent Home in Cedar Falls, May 18, 1958, where Mr. Begeman had been residing for the past month .

Dr. Begeman earned his B. S. and M. S. degrees at the University of Michigan in 1889 and 1897, respectively. He was awarded the Ph. D. degree by the University of Chicago in 1910; his doctoral dissertation was a highly significant study, "Experimental Determination of the Charge of an Electron."

He began teaching in the rural schools of Indiana in 1883; was Superintendent of Schools at Corydon, Iowa, from 1889 to 1895; served as professor of chemistry and physics at Parsons College from 1895 to 1899; and came to Iowa State Teachers College as Professor of Physics in 1899. He was head of the Physics Department at Iowa State Teachers College from 1908 to 1912 and of the Physics and Chemistry Department from 1912 to 1935. After thirty-six years of full-time service at this college, he assumed emeritus status in 1935 and continued to serve the college in that capacity until the end of the 1956-57 academic year--almost fifty-eight years of service in all.

Dr. Begeman was an exceedingly active member of this faculty, serving on numerous faculty committees. He was a member of the College Hill Interdenominational Church and a member of the Cedar Falls Rotary Club.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 20, 1958, 2:00 p.m., at the Dahl Funeral Home. The flag will be lowered to half mast and the Campanile will be played at 2:00 p.m. as an expression of respect and admiration for Dr. Begeman.

Sincerely,

J. W. Maucker, President


Iowa State Teacher's College
Senate Minutes
Docket No. 623
July 28, 1958

Dr. Louis Begeman, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Iowa State Teachers College, passed away, May 18, 1958, at Cedar Falls, Iowa. Dr. Begeman joined the faculty in 1899 as an instructor in physics. He was Professor of Physics and Head of the Department of Physics from 1908 to 1912 when he became Head of the Department of Physics and Chemistry, in which capacity he served until his retirement in 1935. He continued to serve the college on a part-time basis until shortly before his death, thus completing a service to the college of nearly sixty years.

Dr. Begeman was born in Evansville, Indiana, March 1, 1865. He graduated from Evansville High School in 1882. He taught in rural schools from 1883 to 1886 and served as Superintendent of Schools at Corydon, Iowa, from 1889 to 1895. From 1895 to 1899, he was Professor of Physics and Chemistry at Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa, after which he came to Iowa State Teachers College. As already indicated, he served our College for the remainder of his life.

He was married to Magdalene Thuman of Evansville, Indiana, in 1892. She died in 1906 and in 1915 he was married to Mary Alice Whitworth who died in 1957. He is survived by one son, Dr. Myron Begeman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas and a daughter, Mrs. Ralph Jourdan of Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Dr. Begeman received the B. S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1889 and the M. S. degree from the same institution in 1897. He later continued his graduate work at the University of Chicago and received the Ph. D. degree, magna cum laude, in 1910. While at the University of Chicago he studied with the distinguished physicist and Nobel Prize winner in physics, Dr. Robert Millikan. His doctoral dissertation was entitled "The Determination of the Charge of the Electron." This was at the beginning of the research in this field, a field of physics which has developed new concepts of the nature of matter. Dr. Begeman can well be considered a pioneer in the study of the electron and its properties.

Dr. Begeman was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Science, serving as its president in 1911-12; a member of the central Association of Science and Mathematics Teachers; and a member of the Iowa State Teachers Association. He is listed in Who's Who in America and in American Men of Science. He was the author of Principles of Physics, published in 1922 and Everyday Physical Science, published in 1923. He contributed numerous scientific articles to various journals.

Dr. Begeman had positive opinions on questions and he would defend them fearlessly. No one could doubt his sincerity on a problem when he once had made up his mind. He was a forceful and inspiring teacher who demanded of his students work of a high grade and was always fair and considerate of the opinions of students. His scholarly teaching and personality made a lasting impression on all who were privileged to have studied with him.

Be it resolved that this resolution be placed in the minutes of the Faculty of Iowa State Teachers College and that copies be sent to the members of his family as an expression of our appreciation for a long life of devotion and service to the College and to public education.

E. J. Cable
C. W. Lantz
H. A. Riebe


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu