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The Presidents of
the University of Chicago

A Centennial View
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George and Muriel Beadle

George and Muriel Beadle at the time of the publication of their co-authored book, The Language of Life: An Introduction to the Science of Genetics, 1966.

George W. Beadle

Beadle took charge of efforts to rehabilitate and beautify the campus and ordered the reseeding of all the lawns on the quadrangles, quipping that the University was "horticulturally deprived." Muriel Beadle spearheaded efforts to find new homes for neighborhood artists and small shop owners who had been displaced by demolition, resulting in the construction of the Harper Court complex.

Further storms of protest overtook the campus as the Vietnam War escalated. In 1966 and again in 1967, students staged sit-ins at the administration building to oppose University compliance with government regulations requiring reports on the academic rankings of male students for draft purposes.

Chairman of the Board Fairfax M. Cone announced in June 1967 that Beadle would retire the next year on his 65th birthday. Chosen as his successor was Beadle's close associate Edward H. Levi, who as provost had directed efforts to improve the faculty and reorganize the College program. Beadle accepted the directorship of the Institute for Biomedical Research of the American Medical Association and moved it to campus, where he remained to teach and continue experiments with corn for some years. In the yard of his home near 55th and Dorchester, he planted flowers in the front, and in the back "teosinte," which he claimed was a wild parent of domesticated corn. He and Muriel moved to a retirement village in Pomona, California, in 1982.

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