BLACKSBURG, Va., March 29, 2010 – Jeffrey Kirwan, professor of forestry in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech and Extension specialist for natural resources education for Virginia Cooperative Extension, has been conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1978, Kirwan has pioneered the use of information technology to involve citizens of all ages in the care and appreciation of trees — trees that are remarkable for the age, size, historic, and community significance. He is the co-author of the highly acclaimed Remarkable Trees of Virginia book, and his tree conservation efforts have garnered more publicity for the college than any other professor to date.
He led a natural resources and environmental education program that annually reached 30,000 youth who planted trees and took other positive steps to care for the environment. For 20 years, Kirwan directed a comprehensive 4-H program for the citizens of Albemarle and Loudoun counties, inspiring program volunteers who later served on boards of supervisors, the governorship, and other positions of public service. He incorporated service learning into classes taught in both the College of Natural Resources and in the American Indian Studies Program.
Kirwan received his bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater College, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.