In Memoriam and Obituaries, Fall 2021
Leon J. Arp, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, died July 23. Arp was a researcher, instructor, and innovator in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech from 1966 to 1991. Arp held more than 25 patents, including an infant respirator inspired by his infant son’s struggle with respiratory distress syndrome.
Jerald Michael Bowers, assistant professor, the first faculty member hired to join the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience, died July 27. His research focused on language and neurodevelopment disorders, and children with autism spectrum disorder.
Barbara Sutton Cowles, associate director of Virginia Tech’s Honors College and member of the university community from 1990-2008, died on Aug. 17.
Mary Katherine Korslund, associate professor emerita of human nutrition and foods, died April 29. She joined Virginia Tech in 1964, remaining on the faculty until her retirement in 1995.
Calvert T. Larsen, associate professor emeritus of large animal clinical sciences in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, died on Jan. 24.
Harold M. McNair, professor emeritus, died June 27. McNair joined the Department of Chemistry as an associate professor in 1968. During his 34-year career, the McNair lab made numerous major breakthroughs, including reporting the first capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry results.
Kent Clayton Roberts, one of the founders of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, died on Aug. 24. Roberts served on the Virginia Veterinary Medicine Study Commission to assess the feasibility of a college of veterinary medicine in the commonwealth, then joined the faculty in 1980. In 2009 he was presented with the John N. Dalton Award, the college’s most prestigious honor.
W.S. “Pete” White Jr., former rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, died July 4. White was named to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his distinguished four-decade career at American Electric Power. He received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1989, the William H. Ruffner Medal in 1990, and the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1991. He was inducted into the university’s Academy of Engineering Excellence in 1999.