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Willis A. Tacker papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 537

Content Description

Includes office working file folders alphabetized, publication files, Army files, PH-D dissertations, awards, and certificates related to the establishment of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue in the 1970s and subsequent development of Purdue BME. Also contains research data and photographs of people and of hearts.


  • 1966 - 2000


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research. Some documents are restricted.

Copyright and Use Information

Some materials in this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Willis Tacker grew up in Wheeler, Texas. From childhood, Tacker wanted to be a doctor. After high school, he studied Biology at Baylor University and continued at Baylor Medical School to earn his MD degree and PhD in Physiology and Biophysics. Following an internship at the Mayo Clinic, he joined the faculty of Baylor Medical School due to a passion for teaching and research in CPR and defibrillation of the heart.

Tacker was part of the team invited to Purdue to start a Biomedical Engineering (BME) Program and helped found the Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering in 1998. Tacker later directed the Hillenbrand Biomedical Engineering Center. He taught in the Weldon School, IU Medical School Program at Purdue, and Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine. He was invited to join the Association of Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Tacker served on the AAMI program committee, the board of directors, and as AAMI president.


15.043 Cubic Feet (12 cubic foot boxes and seven manuscript boxes)

Acquisition Information

The papers were donated to Purdue University Archives and Special Collections by Willis A. Tacker on August 15, 2011.

Processing Information

Original order of materials was maintained as much as possible. Working and Army files are arranged in alphabetical order by subject. Metal staples and paperclips were removed, and photographs were placed in protective sleeves.



Willis A. Tacker papers
Under Review
Adelle Rogers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States