We are saddened to announce the recent passing of Professor Emeritus David Gordon Shappirio.
Shappirio’s interest in insects and the natural world led him to study the sciences. He attended the University of Michigan (B.S. 1951 Chemistry) where he met Elvera Bamber; they married in 1953. After receiving his Ph.D. in Biology in 1955 from Harvard University, Shappirio accepted two postdoctoral positions in Europe, in 1955 at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, and in 1956 at The University of Leuven, Belgium.
He then returned to the states and the University of Michigan, where in 1957, he began a distinguished career in biological sciences that spanned over 40 years. He taught and carried out research using metamorphosing insects as experimental models for studying cellular and molecular events in insect development. From 1976 - 83, he served as associate chair for instruction and curriculum in the Division of Biological Sciences, and from 1983 - 91 he served as director of the Honors Program in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA). A popular teacher and mentor, he advised several graduate students and mentored more than two dozen undergraduates.
His exceptional teaching skills were recognized by his appointment as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 1989, which was extended in 1992. Among his honors was an award from LSA for excellence in education. After retiring in 1999, he remained active in several scholarship and grant programs.
The family suggests that contributions may be made to The Legacy Land Conservancy, 1100 N .Main St. #203, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104 or The Alzheimer's Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter, 564 S. Main St., Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104.
A celebration of Shappirio’s life was held on August 31, 2014 at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.