In Memoriam: Dr. Steven Wickler

In Memoriam: Dr. Steven Wickler
Dr. Steven Wickler
Dr. Wickler leads students during the College of Agriculture commencement ceremony June 12, 2005.

Dr. Steven J. Wickler, who served as a professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, passed away peacefully at home on May 26 from a brain tumor. He was 55.

“Wick touched so many people,” said President Michael Ortiz. “His energy and spirit are the things that I will most remember about this extraordinary person. Betty and I are so saddened by his passing, but feel privileged to have become his friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nicole and his family during this very difficult time.”

A member of the university community since 1986, Wickler also served as the University Veterinarian, director of the Equine Research Center and the director of Laboratory Animal Facilities. He had received a significant number of awards and honorariums, including the 1991-92 Outstanding Advisor and the 1999-2000 Teacher in the College of Agriculture. He was also the 2000 recipient of the California State University's Wang Family Award in Teaching Excellence as well as the USDA Western Region Award for Excellence in Higher Education Programs. He had authored 58 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 32 symposia articles.

“I have been very fortunate to have worked very closely with Steve for 14 years and he was not only my mentor, but a very close friend,” said Equine Research Technician Holly Greene. “His teaching style and influence on each student that studied under him at the Equine Research Center will forever have a ripple effect in the academic and/or veterinary industry. Steve was an amazing researcher, teacher, friend and person.”

During his tenure, Dr. Wickler generated $3.5 million in external funding to support research for graduate and undergraduate students. His passion for teaching is reflected by the stewardship of nearly 70 graduate students working on their master's degree in science. He also served a large number students working toward their doctorate in veterinary medicine.

He is survived by his wife, Associate Professor Nicole Wickler; son Eric, 19, daughter Kaitlyn, 8; and parents Donald and Margie Wickler.

A celebration of Wickler's life is currently being planned. If you would like information on the event, please e-mail Holly Greene at

In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging contributions to the Steven J. Wickler Student Scholarship Fund in the College of Science. For more information, contact Mary Jo Gruca at