Established April 28, 1981, by Winifred Gahan, James B. Gahan and his wife, Margaret H. Gahan, in honor of the late Arthur B. Gahan, professor of entomology and coach of the first University basketball team. In September 1997, an amendment further defined and clarified the award. Income from the fund shall be used to provide one or more annual graduate fellowships in entomology.
The Gahan Scholarship Fund is a competitive award intended to stimulate excellence in graduate research in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland. This award, established in 1981, was made possible through a series of gifts and bequests to the Entomology Department by Winifred Gahan, James B. Gahan and his wife, Margaret H. Gahan. The endowment honors the late Arthur B. Gahan, who was a Professor of Entomology at the University.
Arthur Gahan was one of the University's first graduate students in entomology. He arrived at College Park in 1904 and, after receiving his MS in 1906, stayed on as a faculty member, teaching here until 1913. Arthur Gahan was also a very active member of the community, both on and off campus. He coached the first basketball team at the University, and in College Park he was one of a small group who worked to put the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department on a firm footing. In 1913 Arthur took a position with the Bureau of Entomology at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was assigned to the National Museum, where he continued his research on the taxonomy and biology of parasitic Hymenoptera until his retirement, becoming a world authority on Chalcidoidea. In 1922 he served as president of the Entomological Society of Washington.
Following in their father's footsteps, Winifred and James both spent their entire careers at the USDA. After receiving his BS (1930) and MS (1932) in Entomology from the University of Maryland, James Gahan became a leader in the development of effective methods for deploying insecticides against insects vectoring disease, receiving a War Department commendation for his role in the dramatic reduction of the incidence of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases among U.S. troops during World War II and in tropical countries during the immediate postwar years.
Winifred Gahan also went to college at Maryland, graduating in 1931. At that time, women were a small minority of the student body. Winifred initially majored in mathematics but eventually switched to home economics. However, her excellent math skills served her well in a career working with statistics for the USDA.
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