Professor Emeritus, Irtaza Siddique, dies


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 2, 2013) — Retired faculty member and Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Pathology, Irtaza Husain Siddique died Monday. Siddique had served Tuskegee for more than 40 years as part of the faculty of College of Veterinary Medicine. He was also president of World Association of Veterinary Educators for seven years. 

He retired in 2008 and received professor emeritus status in 2011. Siddique served as a professor of microbiology and public health and as chairman of the microbiology department prior to the department being combined with pathology and parasitology to form the department of pathobiology. 

“I consider it a true honor to have known and worked with Dr. Siddique for many years. He gave over four decades of dedicated service to TUSVM in particular, but also many years of service to the veterinary medical profession on a national and international level as well,” said Tsegaye Habtemariam, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. 

For the last 58 years, he lived with his wife, Shana, in Alabama. His passion was philanthropic work. Among other things, Siddique established a state park in Opelika, Ala., (it is the only state park in the United States named after a Muslim individual). He also established a communications wing at Auburn University; endowed a chair for a medical student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; established scholarships at AMU and Tuskegee; built a wing at Islamia College in Budaun, India; and sponsored numerous students in the U.S. Siddique was also recognized by the Alabama Legislature, the Alabama Senate, and the city of Auburn. In addition, he received keys to the cities of Auburn and Tuskegee and a Dr. Irtaza Husain Siddique Day was declared in Tuskegee.

Siddique was born in Budaun, India on July 4, 1929 and graduated from Bihar Veterinary College, Patna. He practiced veterinary medicine in India until he moved to America to further his studies at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, where he earned the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees. He later received a Master of Public Health degree from University of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala. Siddique was well known in the field of veterinary medicine. He published numerous papers and completed a countless amount of research.

One of the primary goals in his life was to create awareness and appreciation for higher education. He was the founder and trustee of the Asim Siddique Memorial Degree College in Budaun, which was named in honor of his beloved, late son. Siddique, known affectionately by his family as Kaka, was the first individual from the family to come to America. He then sponsored the rest of his relatives. Today, because of him, there are over 150 members of the family settled in America.

Siddique's unparalled professional contributions, along with his philanthropic services to the community, created a significant impact on our society. As one of his nieces said, "It is a very sad day for our family as he was a pillar. His strength will live on in our family."

There was a Janazah Prayer was held at the Auburn Islamic Center Tuesday and Siddique was buried at City of Auburn Cemetery. 

Siddique is survived by his wife Shana, his son, Najeeb I. Siddique, his daughter-in-law Rabia S. Siddique, and a grandson, Aden N. Siddique; along with several brothers, sisters, and nieces and nephews who will all miss him greatly.

© 2013 Tuskegee University 

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