Albert Hildebrandt Library Endowment
An $800,000 gift to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences from the estate of alumnus Albert Christian Hildebrandt on January 20, 2003, established the Albert Hildebrandt Library Endowment for the Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology's Albert C. Hildebrandt Plant Pathology Library located in Buckhout Laboratory.
A State College native, Hildebrandt was born on April 10, 1916. He graduated from Penn State with a bachelor's degree in botany in 1939 and a master's degree in plant pathology and botany in 1941. He received his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin in 1945 and joined the faculty four years later.
A professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin for twenty-nine years, Albert Hildebrandt was an internationally-recognized authority on plant tissue culture and one of the earliest advocates of cell fusion as a means of incorporating new traits into a cell line, leading to the development of advanced research techniques that are widely used today.
According to the University of Wisconsin, "Dr. Hildebrandt made important contributions in the areas of meristem and tissue culture and diseases of ornamental plants. One of his projects was the development of carrot tissue in culture as a possible food source for space travel. He was also an avid tennis player, serving as captain of the Penn State tennis team and later coaching occasionally at the University of Wisconsin." Dr. Hildebrandt retired in 1978 after having suffered a stroke. He was preceded in death by his wife Lillian in 1994 and died on January 4, 2001.
The Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology will use income from the Hildebrandt Endowment to make improvements to the library, a discipline-specific body of knowledge available to all faculty, students, and staff in the department.
A gift such as this one holds great potential not only for the faculty and students in plant pathology but also for other related disciplines at Penn State. This endowment will enable the department to become an international leader in library holdings and access to digital research, which will create new opportunities for graduate education, research support, and outreach. - Former Dept. Head Dr. Leonard J. Francl
It was Dr. Hildebrandt's wish to contribute to the educational mission of the discipline of plant pathology at his undergraduate alma mater through this endowment. We honor his wishes today through the continued maintenance of this educational resource and would welcome and deeply appreciate your financial support of the Albert Hildebrandt Library Endowment. Your tax-deductible contribution can be made payable to the Pennsylvania State University, One Old Main, University Park, PA 16802.