James V. Drew, former Dean & Director of the School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences / Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station, passed away July 10. Services will be held for him at the Georgeson Botanical Garden Monday, July 21st at 4 pm.
Born September 21, 1930, Drew grew up on a small dairy farm in Cresskill, New Jersey. He studied agriculture with a pre-forestry option at Rutgers University. In 1952, he joined the United States Air Force and later served in the Air National Guard for twenty-four years.
He first came to Alaska in 1955 as a graduate student to do a soil survey on the North Slope. In 1956, Drew married Marilyn Smith of Powell, Wyoming, and in 1957 he graduated from Rutgers with his PhD. The couple moved west when Dr. Drew joined the agronomy faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While at UNL his research in soil science led to his election as a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Drew also served as dean of UNL's graduate college.
In 1975 Dr. Drew packed up his family—Marilyn, Lisa, Kelly, and Michael—and returned to Alaska as the newly hired director of the Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1976 he was appointed dean of the then-School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, continuing in that capacity until his retirement in 1995.
(condensed biography taken from "Harvesting a career", by Donna Gindle, Agroborealis v. 27 n. 2, Fall 1995)
Addenda 7/16/08: obituary in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Drew Outdoor Amphitheater at the botanical gardens. Donations may be sent to: UAF Georgeson Botanical Garden, c/o UAF Development Office, P.O. Box 757530, Fairbanks, AK 99775; by phone at 474-2619; online www.uaf.edu/giving.