Southern Nazarene University receives 497 volume Robert G. Lawrence Ornithology collection

Southern Nazarene University receives 497 volume Robert G. Lawrence Ornithology collection

     BETHANY, OK --- The book collection of the late Dr. Robert G. “George” Lawrence - former professor of biology at Bethany Peniel College, now Southern Nazarene University (SNU), was recently donated to the SNU School of Biology.   The collection was accepted by SNU, earlier this year with 497 books representing several fields of the biological sciences, which Dr. Lawrence had collected across his entire career.  Especially well-represented is the field of ornithology, containing many of the “foundational works” dating back to the mid 1800’s.  Recent technical documents, research reports and bird vocalization recordings supplement the strong ornithological items. 

SNU's  J. Michael Crabtree and Dr. Nancy Halliday review books in the new collection.  Photo by Eunice Trent.

Dr. Robert G. Lawrence and his wife moved to Bethany, Oklahoma in 1947. He completed his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University in 1964, studying waterfowl migration throughout the Central Flyway, including Hutton Lake and Pathfinder National Wild life Refuges in southeast Wyoming.  In 1968 Dr. Lawrence accepted a position as the director of Institutional Research at Mid-America Nazarene College in Olathe, Kansas where he later became Dean of the college.  In 1975 Robert and his family moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio to serve as Academic Dean and later vice president for Academic Affairs at Mount Vernon Nazarene College.  

“Almost without exception educators take very good care of their teaching tools.  This is reflected in the condition of the books, research reports monographs, prints and other items in this collection.  Each item has been examined as to condition, using the criteria established by the Antiquarian Book Association.  A few books are X-Library copies.  Some, especially the very old ones have marginal notes and slight foxing.  Every book has the owner’s name written on the frontis.  The collection condition as a whole is rated as GOOD,” said Darrell R. (Ted) Goulden, BS, MS, Appraiser and former student of Dr. Robert G. Lawrence. 

SNU’s Science programs have previously attracted major research and equipment grants from the National Science Foundation and Union Carbide Summer Research Program.

The faculty of the biology department is committed to continuing their own scholarly development and to function as proper role models for their students. They seek to model a life where integration of faith, living, and learning is the primary focus. As a faculty, they pursue both personal and academic excellence. 

Former students of Dr. Lawrence created the Dr. Robert G. Lawrence Academic Excellence Fund at SNU and to date have raised over $55,000.  The University hopes to eventually house this primary collection in a new Reading and Resource room to be included in the proposed Science laboratory expansion, which will contain new space for Biology and Chemistry Teaching and Research classrooms.  

Dr. Robert G. Lawrence passed away on May 13, 2007 in Laramie, Wyoming.  He was born on February 14, 1921,  in Wilmington, N.Y.,  to Asa and Minnie Lawrence.  He had four brothers and three sisters and developed an early love for hunting, fishing, ice-skating and skiing in the Lake Placid area near his home. 

For more information on the biology department at Southern Nazarene University, visit