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Pappenheimer Is Mourned


About 35 people attended a memorial service Saturday in Dunster House for Alwin M. Pappenheimer Jr. '29, former Dunster House Master and professor of biology emeritus, according to Dunster Master Karel Liem.

Pappenheimer died March 21, at Mt. Auburn Hospital. He was 86.

"[The high attendance] was a clear indication of his stature as a scientist and his stature as a master," Liem said of the turnout.

Eighteen speakers spoke of his "accomplishment as a scientist and they furnished memories and thoughts about friendships with him." Liem said.

Pappenheimer served as Dunster's Master from 1962 to 1970. Liem credited him with transforming Dunster "from the house which was not very musical and not very well known for nurturing scholarship to a house which has the strongest program in music and which has produced many students who received Rhodes scholarships and Marshall scholarships."

Liem said Pappenheimer was well-liked and respected by all his students.

"He impressed me as a truly great master of Dunster House who has left a real legacy to the house," Liem said. "He believes in determined leadership and a sense of doing what is right and not [to] try to be popular and not to be afraid of criticism at Dunster House.

Pappenheimer was born in Cedarhurst, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1929 and his doctorate degree in organic biology in 1932, both at Harvard.

He won the prestigious Eli Lilly Award in 1941 for isolating and crystallizing the diphtheria toxin and identifying its chemical characteristics.

Pappenheimer was a captain in the Medical Corps in World War II, then became a professor of microbiology at the New York State University Medical School.

He joined Harvard's Faculty in 1957, becoming House Master in 1962. He ended his term in 1970, but remained active in Dunster's Senior Common Room.

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