Alabama Academy of Honor


Joseph F. Volker

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1973.



Joseph F. Volker's career included dental research, teaching, and administration of dental colleges. He was educated at Rutgers University, the University of Indiana where he received his dental degree, and at the University of Rochester. At Rochester, he earned his A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. His Rochester doctorate was awarded in the field of bio-chemistry.

Dr. Volker held two Carnegie Foundation Fellowships at Rochester where he was director of dental research, and was one of the pioneers on studies dealing with the effects of fluorine on teeth.

Dr. Volker was a member of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, the American Dental Association, the International Association of Dental Research, Sigma Xi, and Omicron Kappa Upsilon.

In 1946, Dr. Volker became the first American to win honorary membership in the Czechoslovakia Dental Society. This honor, and a gold medal from Charles University in Prague, was awarded on the basis of his contribution to the advancement of dentistry in Czechoslovakia as a member of the UNRRA -- Unitarian Service Commission's teaching mission.

Dr. Volker was a man of great vision, and he had the rare ability of imparting that vision to others. This enabled him to bring the University of Alabama Medical School many of the world's greatest doctors, research men, and scientists. Dr. Volker also is a community leader. As well as building a Medical Center, a Dental School and a College of General Studies in Birmingham with all the allied facilities, he was very active in all community affairs. He is now deceased.