Payne, Fernandus, 1881-1977

Alternative names
Birth 1881-02-13
Death 1977-10-13

Biographical notes:

Fernandus Payne was affiliated with Indiana University for nearly 50 years, first as a student, then professor and administrator.

Indiana University alumnus Fernandus Payne began teaching zoology at IU shortly after receiving his Ph. D. at Columbia University in 1909. After promotion to full professor in 1919 and the death of Dean Carl Eigenmann in 1927, Payne became the next dean of the Graduate School as well as the new chair of the Zoology Department. He retired from his position as dean in 1947 and professorship in 1951. As a member of the IU community Payne made many great contributions, including attracting cutting edge genetics researchers such as Hermann Muller and Salvador Luria to the university. Dr. Payne died 13 October 1977.

From the description of Fernandus Payne papers, 1908-1971. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 48894264

Fernandus Payne was born on 13 February 1881 in Shelbyville, Indiana. As a young adult Payne had a very strong work ethic and worked on several Indiana farms in order to support himself through his educational endeavors. He graduated from Valparaiso University with his B.S. in 1901. In 1905 he graduated from Indiana University with his B.A., and in 1906 he received his M.A. from Indiana University as well. After completing his studies at I.U. he entered Columbia University and earned his Ph.D. in 1909.

Soon after completing his degree work Payne became an Assistant Professor in the zoology department at Indiana University, where he spent his entire academic career. After promotion to full professor in 1919 and the death of Dean Carl Eigenmann in 1927, Payne became the next Dean of the Graduate School as well as the new chair of the Zoology department in 1927. He maintained his position as an administrator until his retirement from the position of Dean of the Graduate School in 1947, and his position as professor until his second retirement in 1951. He was named Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School and Professor Emeritus of Zoology in 1951 by the Indiana University Board of Trustees.

As a member of the Indiana University community Fernandus Payne made many great contributions. First, Payne is credited with introducing the study of genetics, always a controversial subject, to the university and attracting cutting edge researchers in the field, like Hermann Muller and Salvatore Luria, who both went on to win the Nobel Prize for their research.

Payne was also a renown researcher in his own right. Although his interests were varied he is best remembered for his research on the the effects of aging on the endocrine gland structure of fowl.

As well as a researcher, Payne was recognized as a superb administrator and instructor. He always championed the causes of the faculty and the students under his direction. He had a reputation as a man who expected quality from all around him, but dealt with people in an honest and just fashion. During his academic career he received many awards recognizing his contributions to collegiate education.

After giving up research at the age of 90 Payne left Bloomington for a retirement home in Frankfort, Indiana. Payne died on 13 October 1977 at the age of 96.

From the guide to the Fernandus Payne papers, 1907-1974, (Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Zoologists--Correspondence
  • Zoologists--Archives
  • Zoology teachers--Correspondence
  • Zoology teachers--Archives


not available for this record


  • Indiana--Bloomington (as recorded)