The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
catalogued about 80 vascular plant specimens and 2 fungal specimens collected
by E. Gibbes Patton. It is likely that as cataloging continues,
more specimens collected by him will be found.
Ernest Gibbes Patton,
who went by “Gibbes,” earned a B. A. from Yale
University, M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and
Ph.D. from Duke University. He joined
the faculty of Wofford College in 1963, and retired from that institution in
Patton’s thesis advisor at UCN-Chapel Hill was
J. E. Adams, and the title of his Master’s Thesis was “Influence of flax root
byproducts on higher plants.” The
title of his doctoral thesis at Duke University was “The development of white
pine forest and soil on abandoned farm lands in the North Carolina Blue
Image courtesy of Library & Archives, Wofford College
Dr. E. Gibbes Patton,
a professor of botany at Wofford [College] for 25 years and a faithful and
effective advocate for environmental causes of across the Upstate, died Aug.
28, 2010 in Spartanburg. He was 86
A native of Greenville, S. C., Patton had an
impressive educational background. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale
University in 1947, a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina
[at Chapel Hill] in 1950, and a doctoral degree from Duke in 1956. After
teaching at the University of Alabama, he came to Wofford [College] in 1963
as the college’s first full-time specialist in botany. His colleagues, Dr.
Ray Leonard and Dr. Don Dobbs, already were legendary teachers and when Bill
Hubbard joined the department in 1964, a memorable team was in place to educate
several generations of Wofford physicians and research scientists.
John Lane ’77 describes Patton’s almost
immediate impact at the college in an essay called, “The Greening of
Wofford.” Serving as a member of a campus panel in the winter of 1970 that
address the problem of pollution in South Carolina, Patton used his
five-minute opening statement to ask four simple questions. Can we learn to
see the environment as a whole? Can we limit resources consumption? Do we
understand the natural cycle? What is the role of the college in defining
these problems? It was a manifesto for sustainability that was well ahead of
Patton retired from the faculty in 1987, but he
always was active in doing research and writing about environmental issues
and supporting a wide range of environmental advocacy organizations in the
Upstate. His leadership was crucial in
the early efforts to protect the watershed of Lawson’s Fork Creek, and it was
appropriate that his memorial service was held at Wofford’s Goodall Environmental
Gibbes Patton was married for 59 years to the late Mildred
Connor Read Patton and is survived by four children, Charlotte Patton Tinsley
’75, Ernest G. “Buzz” Patton, Jr. ’77, C. Read Patton and Stephen L. Patton.2
Partial List of Publications:
Patton, Ernest Gibbes. 1950.
Influence of flax root byproducts on higher plants. M.A. thesis, Botany Department, University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
1956. The development of white pine
forest and soil on abandoned farm lands in the North Carolina Blue
Ridge. Ph.D. Thesis, Botany
Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Alice Simms and E. Gibbes Patton. 1966.
Forest, “prairie,” and soils in the Black Belt of Sumter County,
Alabama, in 1832. Ecology 47(1): 75-80.
teach-ins. The American Biology Teacher 32(3):
1971. Declaration of
Independence from science fairs. The American Biology Teacher 33(2):
E. G., Jr. and E. Gibbes Patton. 1971.
In support of science fairs. The American Biology Teacher 33(6):
Sources used for
this web page:
Faculty Gallery. https://www.wofford.edu/library/archives/content.aspx?id=452413 accessed on 13 March 2017.”
2. Dr. E. Gibbes
Patton, Aug. 28, 2010. Wofford Today,
Fall 2010, p. 30. Office for
Communications & Marketing, Wofford College.