Paul Karl Haake, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, emeritus, died on Dec. 3 in Middletown, Conn. He was 79 years old. A memorial service was held Dec. 7 at the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty.
In the true spirit of the liberal arts and the Wesleyan tradition of service, Professor Haake was particularly proud of the popularcourses he taught to students outside the sciences and of his participation in community issues. In 1975, Governor Grasso appointed Professor Haake to the Connecticut’s Nuclear Power Evaluation Council, a commission concerned with the safety of nuclear power.
Professor Haake completed his A.B. (1954) and Ph.D. (Chemistry, 1961) at Harvard University. His doctoral research on hydrolysis and isotopic exchange, under the supervision of Frank Westheimer, resulted in the 1961 publication of his paper “Hydrolysis and Exchange in Esters of Phosphoric Acid,” published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. After initially beginning his teaching career at UCLA, where he taught from 1961-68, Haake joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1968.
During his 25 years as a full-time teacher and scholar at Wesleyan, Haake contributed to the development of the Ph.D. program in chemistry and the formulation of the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department. He also initiated the NSM luncheon series, an important interdisciplinary forum for Division III, and played a vital role in strengthening general education offerings across the Division III. His research resulted in publication of some one hundred scholarly articles and books. In 2004, after a dozen years in whichProfessor Haake split his time between teaching at Wesleyan and various other pursuits, he fully retired from Wesleyan.
(Information provided by Rob Rosenthal, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology.)