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In Memoriam - Dr. Robert Tracy

Photo of Dr. Tracy

The Department of Geosciences mourns the loss of Professor Robert J. Tracy, who died on Sunday, Jan. 6, after a year-long battle with liver cancer. He was 74.

Bob was a stalwart of our department for many years, having served as a professor, department chair, and Director of the Museum of Geosciences. He was a generous colleague, a connoisseur of wine and monazite, a peerless microprobe-whisperer, and a selfless mentor to students and junior faculty alike. He leaves a void that will be impossible to fill.

Bob joined Virginia Tech in 1986, in what was then called the Department of Geological Sciences. He made many contributions to metamorphic petrology and was very active in several professional societies, especially the Geological Society of America, which he served as a Council Member from 2011-2014, and in which he was elected a Fellow. He remained an active, full-time professor in our department until the end.

Funeral arrangements are private, but a lovely tribute to Bob’s life can be found here:

With a future gift from Bob’s estate, and the help of our alumni and friends, the department intends to establish the Robert J. Tracy Student Research Fund to honor and remember Bob’s deep commitment to the students of Virginia Tech.