Notices sorted by graduation date.
Richard L. Jennings, retired UVA civil engineering professor, died July 10, 2019, at age 85. Remembered as a devoted teacher and compassionate mentor, he worked to recruit more women and African Americans to a program that had few of either. Jennings helped students bring vision to reality—to start from nothing and, by the sequencing of structure, see a project through to completion. In a Forbes.com tribute, former colleague Bernie Carlson recalls a famous Jennings lecture about the practical limitations of data and theory. Jennings demonstrated on the blackboard how a standard equation, used to predict the load-bearing capacity of a structural slab, rendered an absurd result, trilling with a Scottish brogue, “Ay, and there you see the diabolical nature of concrete.” As a faculty member, Jennings consulted for NASA and the U.S. Marine Corps. Born in New Jersey and educated in the Midwest, he moved to Charlottesville in 1963 with his wife, Jan, who preceded him in death. Over time, he became embedded in the community as a long-serving member and chairman of the Charlottesville School Board and by serving on several other boards, including Piedmont Virginia Community College and the local public television station. Jennings took to television himself, delighting in teaching engineering courses through UVA’s broadcast graduate extension program. He also devoted time to Christian prison ministry in Virginia. Survivors include his children Sherry and Greg, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a brother.