SUNY Buffalo State Oral Histories, 1975-1995
Interview with Dr. John Urban


Interview with Dr. John Urban


Sister Martin Joseph Jones

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Dr. John Urban was born on May 31, 1909 in Slovakia and came to the United States in 1912. He earned his B.S. in Education at Kent State University in 1930. He was awarded his Master of Education and Doctorate of Educational Research from Columbia University. From 1930-1936 he taught at Randolph Township High School in Ohio. From 1936 to 1946 he was a science teacher in Millburn, New Jersey. Dr. Urban came to the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo in 1946 as full professor of sciences and biology. Dr. Urban chaired the science department for 12 years. He was instrumental in establishing the college’s first Lake Erie aquatic field station, the forerunner of the Great Lakes Laboratory. Other long lasting achievements during his tenure at the college were: a college camp program to help students learn about their natural environment, the development of a planetarium, and the building and equipping of a science building. Dr. Urban co-authored a variety of textbooks. Dr. Urban retired in 1978. He was named Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of biology. In 1982, the auditorium in the Science building was named after him. Dr. John Urban passed away on October 8, 1989.


SUNY Buffalo State Oral History Project, 1975-1995

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Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library

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Oral History

Interview with Dr. John Urban