Florence A. “Flo” Bernard, who taught for many years in the Department of Biology, passed away on Thursday, October 20, at the Hospicare Residence. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Michael Mahler on Monday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church. Interment will follow in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Friends may call Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Bangs Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, a charity will be announced in a complete obituary to appear in the Saturday edition of the Ithaca Journal.
For 27 years, Flo was one of the first faculty members a biology student would get to know, as she taught the beginning courses Fundamentals of Biology and Principles of Biology. She also taught the Essentials of Biology course for non-majors. She maintained an extensive set of slides for use in the teaching labs and was coauthor of the lab manuals used for many years in the introductory courses.
Flo and her husband, Jack, were both an integral part of the growth of the College’s biology program. She retired in 1997, and Jack followed in 2000.
The Bernards were an inspiration to thousands of students, and both Flo and Jack considered interacting with students the most important part of their careers. A generous donation by the couple established the Bernard Fund to support research by biology students, and the department itself honored their commitment by establishing the Bernard Scholarship to assist deserving students. The John M. and Florence A. Bernard Biological Collections Center was named in the Center for Natural Sciences in grateful recognition of their dedicated service to the College community as distinguished faculty members.