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Donald W. Rennie papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 19-F-1135

Scope and Contents

Contains professional, teaching, and research records of Donald W. Rennie, concentrated in the 1960s. Papers do not reflect Rennie's administrative positions at the University at Buffalo.

Includes committee files for the School [of Medicine] Curriculum Committee, grant files, notes and data from research, and course materials for seminars and lectures given at local hospitals and the School of Medicine.


  • 1918-1979
  • Majority of material found within 1961-1969


Language of Materials

Collection material in English and German.

Terms of Access

The Donald W. Rennie Papers are open for research.
Please note: This collection is stored off-site. Access to collection requires 3 business days’ notice. Contact University Archives at (716) 645-2916 or to schedule an appointment.


Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Donald W. Rennie came to the University at Buffalo as an assistant professor of physiology in 1958; he was promoted to associate professor in 1962 and was named full professor in 1966. Internationally recognized for his studies of physiological response to special environments and exercise, he authored or coauthored more than 80 scientific papers and presentations in his field. During 1966-1967 he was a professor in the Physiology Laboratory of the University of Milan, Italy.

Throughout his career Dr. Rennie was extensively involved in professional activities and service. He was on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physiology and Journal of Applied Physiology, and was a member of the American Physiological Society, Sigma Xi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Undersea Medical Society. He served on the Porter Fellowship Committee of the American Physiological Society, the Test Committee for Physiology of the National Board of Medical Examiners, and the Educational Committee of the American Physiological Society.

In addition to his scholarly activities, Dr. Rennie played an active role in the Department of Physiology, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the University at Buffalo community, and the State University of New York throughout the 1960s and 1970s. He became associate department chair in 1968, was appointed acting chair in 1971, and served as chair from 1973 to 1980. His service to the medical school included terms as chair of the school's curriculum committee and as its representative to the executive committee of the Graduate School.

In 1980, Dr. Rennie was appointed Vice President of Research; in 1984, he also become Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education. From 1990-1992, he was named Senior Counselor to the President, with special expertise in research.

Born in Seattle in 1925, Dr. Rennie attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon for three years before joining the American Field Service. He served in the organization's Ambulance Corps with the British in India, then lived in India for a year following his discharge.

After returning to the United States, he attended the University of Washington and received his baccalaureate degree there in 1947. He subsequently undertook medical training and graduate work in physiology at the University of Oregon School of Medicine, with a predoctoral fellowship in physiology from the Life Insurance Medical Research Fund. In 1952 he completed both his master's degree in physiology and his medical degree.

Dr. Rennie served as an instructor in physiology at the University of Wisconsin from 1952 to 1953, then entered the U.S. Air Force. He did his internship at the William Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso, Texas, and was then appointed Chief of the Department of Physiology at the Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory in Fairbanks, Alaska. After his discharge from the Air Force in 1956, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School for two years, again under the sponsorship of the Life Insurance Medical Research Fund.

Upon his appointment to the University at Buffalo's Department of Physiology, Dr. Rennie and Betty Livingstone Rennie, his wife since 1947, moved to Clarence, New York, where they raised four children: Jane, Barbara, Lori, and David.

--Adapted from biography found in the program from Rennie's memorial service. This is available in the University Archives biographical file for Rennie.


2.5 Linear Feet (2 cartons)


Contains professional, teaching, and research records of Donald W. Rennie, concentrated in the 1960s. Research focuses on metabolism and sodium reabsorption of the kidney and Eskimos.


This collection is arranged in four series: I. Professional, II. Research, III. Teaching, and IV. References.

Other Finding Aids

Acquisition Information

No acquisition information is available.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

19/F/967, Leon E. Farhi papers, 1964-2003
19/F/1134, Hermann Rahn papers, 1855, 1928-1990
19/F/1137, Suk-Ki Hong papers, 1953-1997
19/F/1138, Department of Physiology records, 1955, 1961-1965, 1971-1979, undated
19/F/1139, Department of Physiology and Biophysics records, 1940-1998

Processing Information

Processed by Nathan Tallman, August 2009.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, January 2015.

Finding Aid for the Donald W. Rennie papers
Finding aid prepared by Nathan Tallman.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)