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Van Haitsma, John P. (1884-1965) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Van Haitsma, John P. (1884-1965)

Historical Note:

John Peter Van Haitsma was born in Zutphen, Michigan on April 1, 1884.  Haitsma attended the University of Michigan where he studied organic science, botany, and zoology. He received both his Bachelor's and Master's from the University of Michigan.  In 1909 Van Haitsma accepted a faculty position in Calvin College's science department. He eventually became head of the college's organic science department.  During this time, he also furthered his own education. He attended the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. He ultimately earned his Ph.D. and during his research in parasitology, he discovered two new species of fish parasites.

As a professor of biology, Van Haitsma also taught the subject with a Christian point of view. He was also involved with student life as a sponsor of the student biology club, the Phytozoon Society.  Van Haitsma also published a book, The Supplanter Undeceived, 1942 and during his retirement he wrote articles in the Banner.

On April 6, 1965 Professor John Peter Van Haitsma passed away due to a brief illness.  His wife of 51 happy years of marriage, Kate Kuizema preceded him in death.  They were survived by their daughter, Janice; son-in-law, Jacob Aldrink; and three grandchildren.

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