John Shellenberger was an eminent professor in the field of milling and baking science. Through his education, administrative skillset and industry connections, he created what would become known as the world’s premier university program for this discipline.
Shellenberger championed nuclear energy over anti-nuclear activists, whom he described as “eco-fascists.” He believes that nuclear power plants can help reduce mankind’s environmental footprint by providing reliable and inexpensive energy sources.
Early Life and Education
John Shellenberger was born in York, Pennsylvania to Paul and Caroline Glackin Shellenberger. As a lawyer by profession, he enjoyed being active within his church community.
He had a passion for the arts, attending numerous theater and ballet performances throughout Philadelphia.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Lafayette College and went on to receive a law degree from Harvard. Following this, he joined Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young where he eventually served as Chief Deputy State Attorney General responsible for the Philadelphia regional office until retiring this April.
Shellenberger served as head of Kansas State University’s Department of Flour and Feed Milling (later named the School of Grain Science and Industry) from 1944 to 1966. During this time, his school endured both hardship and triumph; even after a 1957 fire destroyed its facility. To honor him, they built a new building dedicated in 1961 that would later be named in his honor in 1970.
Shellenberger achieved great success at KSU by building a world-class university program in milling and baking through his education, administrative skills and extensive industry contacts. Furthermore, he fostered research collaboration between other university departments specializing in basic sciences and engineering.
Achievements and Honors
John Shellenberger, PhD served as head of Kansas State University’s Department of Flour and Feed Milling Industries (later named the School of Grain Science and Industry) for twenty-one years. During this turbulent era, his education, administrative skills and extensive industry connections allowed him to create what would become the world’s leading university program in milling and baking.
His work as a cereal scientist, focusing on hard winter wheat’s milling and baking quality, earned him numerous honors. He received the Association of Operative Millers Gold Medal, Neumann Medal from the Association of Cereal Research, Outstanding Achievement Gold Medal from University of Minnesota and Frank Schwain Award from American Association of Cereal Chemists International – all first recipients.
John Shellenberger was born on June 13th 1834 in Juniata County, Pennsylvania to Joseph and Hannah Snyder Shellenberger.
He is survived by his wife, Merri, and three children. As pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Lemoyne, he will retire this summer.
Shellenberger earned his Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, Master’s in Milling Technology from Kansas State University and Doctorate in Agricultural Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. While in college he worked at Fisher Flour Mills before becoming an Assistant Agriculture Chemist at the University of Idaho.
He headed the Department of Flour and Feed Milling Industries at KSU, leading a research program that produced technological advancements in the grain industry. In 1970 he was named a distinguished professor emeritus. Additionally, he was an accomplished author.
Shellenberger is an environmental policy writer and co-founder of both Breakthrough Institute and American Environics. He has also authored books such as Break Through and The Death of Environmentalism.
He is a former Time magazine “Hero of the Environment,” advocating that nuclear energy is necessary for achieving a cleaner future while renewables will wreak havoc on our planet. Additionally, his record includes working with politicians from both parties.
He has been featured in multiple Fox News chyrons and spoken at Democratic retreats, though his views don’t fit within the Republican climate orthodoxy. Nevertheless, he continues to gain support among conservative media and lawmakers as some Republicans attempt to soften their stance on climate change.