New Waite chairholder announced at convocation
Creighton University’s next holder of the Anna and Don Waite Endowed Chair in Jesuit Education for the 2023-2024 academic year is the Rev. Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu, SJ, PhD, DSc, a renowned scientist. Creighton’s president, the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, announced the appointment at the Founder’s Week Convocation on Feb. 7.
Fr. Ignacimuthu, a Jesuit priest, researcher and administrator from India, was identified among the top 1% of scientists worldwide in biology by professors at Stanford University in a 2020 publication. He was the first vice chancellor of two state universities in India and also served for more than 20 years at the Entomology Research Institute at Loyola College in the city of Chennai.
He holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Delhi and a Doctor of Science degree in plant biotechnology from the University of Madras. He has published more than 800 research papers and 80 books, including college textbooks on biotechnology, bioinformatics, bioethics and environment. Fr. Ignacimuthu holds two U.S. patents and 12 Indian patents.
The Royal Entomological Society of London named Fr. Ignacimuthu a fellow for outstanding contributions in entomology, and he also is a fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi. Much of his research has focused on overcoming the ill effects of chemical pesticides on the environment and human health, as well as biopesticides to control insect pests.
The Waite Chair in Jesuit Education was established in 2011 by Donald Waite, BSC’54, and his wife, Anna, to augment the Jesuit presence at Creighton. The Waite Chair brings visiting Jesuit scholars to invigorate the Jesuit and Catholic intellectual tradition across the University and is not restricted to a particular school or college. The visiting scholars who hold the chair — accomplished Jesuit priests from around the world — represent the full spectrum of academic disciplines.