Dr. David Melvin “Dave” Whisnant was a much-loved Wofford College professor whose embrace of technology led him to be named the college’s vice president of information technology.  

He died on Aug. 14. He was 80. 

"Dave served the college in so many different ways,” says Dr. Tim Schmitz, Wofford’s provost. “By the time I got to Wofford he was already working full time as an administrator, but it was clear how well liked he was. I soon came to know why. He was a warm and kind person with a bright, big smile and an infectious laugh." 

Whisnant arrived at Wofford in 1983 to teach physical chemistry. He also taught numerous Interim courses on Western films, digital photography and rock ‘n’ roll music appreciation. 

In 2000, he became the college’s vice president of information technology.  

Whisnant began his teaching career at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. He was among the first people in Ashland to own a personal computer, and he was an innovator while developing computer applications that assisted with the teaching of chemistry. He received numerous awards and was recognized by the National Science Teachers Association and received seven National Science Foundation grants. He served on multiple American Chemistry Society committees and sat on the editorial board for the Journal for Chemical Education: Software.  

As Wofford’s vice president of technology, he demonstrated how to integrate technology into teaching methods.  

Whisnant also was active in the Spartanburg community by volunteering in schools, teaching basic chemistry concepts to elementary students, occasionally volunteering at the Spartanburg Science Center and serving as a judge at science fairs.  

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Linda Dyson Whisnant; his two sons Dr. Clayton Whisnant, Wofford’s Chapman Family Professor of the Humanities, and Aaron Whisnant; four grandchildren and his brother, John Whisnant, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.