The Bretz Chronology
(The Albion Connection In Italics.)

  • Born September 2, 1882, Saranac, Michigan.
  • One of five children, his father a furniture dealer and undertaker and staunch Methodist.
  • He was raised as a Methodist and at one time planned to be a missionary.
  • Attended Albion College, 1901-05.
  • Met Fannie Challis, in biology lab first year. Daughter of a missionary to Bulgaria.
  • Taught biology and physiography 2 years at Flint High school, Michigan.
  • Married Fannie Challis in 1906.
  • Honeymooned in Seattle.
  • Taught 4 years at Franklin High School, Seattle.
  • Ph.D. dissertation, University of  Chicago, 1913. Quaternary Geology of Puget Sound region, Washington.
  • Taught at University of  Washington for one year.  Then appointed instructor at the University of  Chicago, 1914.
  • Faculty member of University of  Chicago for over 30 years. Retired in 1947.
  • Neil A. Miner Award for Teaching, National Association of Geology Teachers, 1959.
  • Bretz donates his library to Albion College, valued then at $10,000, in support of  the newly founded Geology Department, 1966.
  • Bretz receives the Albion College Distinguished Alumni Award, 1968.
  • Bretz Geology Lab at Albion College, dedicated 1971.
  • Bretz donates his Boulder Strewn rock collection to Albion College, 1975.
  • Awarded Penrose Medal by Geological Society of America, 1979.
  • Recognition by National Park Service and Washington State Park with plaque at Coulee Dam Recreation Center, 1994.
  • Died February 3, 1981, Homewood, Illinois.