Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
WSU Department of Sociology Sociology News

Recent Passing of Alumni

We learned recently of the deaths of two accomplished scholars who completed their PhDs at WSU in the 1970s, Gerald Garrett (’71) and James VanLeuven (’76).

Gerald Garrett (1940-2013) died unexpectedly in Hoosick Falls, New York, on January 14. He spent his entire career in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Boston becoming professor emeritus in 2002. He was a nationally recognized expert in criminal justice, substance abuse, and homelessness and helped build a strong legacy of applied sociology at UMass Boston.

James Van Leuven (1940-2013) also died unexpectedly, on March 26, while vacationing with his family in Orlando, Florida. A native of Spokane, Washington, Jim began his career working for regional newspapers in the Northwest. He completed his PhD in 1976 and taught in the Department of Communication at WSU from 1981 to 1985. He became chair of the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication at Colorado State University in 1991, and in 2000, he became the first endowed professor in public relations at the University of Oregon, a position from which he retired in 2006.