ALEC department mourns loss of professor emeritus Dr. James Christiansen

ChristiansenDr. James E. Christiansen, professor emeritus at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC), passed away, Wednesday, Aug. 8. Christiansen was 87 years old, just three weeks shy of his 88th birthday, September 1.

Christiansen began his career with Texas A&M in 1968 as an associate professor of agricultural education. After 36 years of teaching at TAMU, he retired in 2004 and took on the role of professor emeritus in the department. Until recently, he was in his office and at work on projects every day, often including on weekends.

Over his academic career, Christiansen directed 19 funded research and development contracts and grants, authored or co-authored 47 bulletins, articles, papers and books, and worked actively as a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Office of International Agricultural Programs committee.

“Dr. Christiansen was a mentor, teacher, and friend for almost 50 years—since 1969. His humble demeanor and servant leadership enabled him to teach and inspire hundreds of graduate students in his areas of specialty: international agricultural development and education and methods of technological change/adoption-diffusion theory,” said Gary Briers, a professor and colleague in the department. “His legacy is secure; the world is a better place and I am a better person because of Dr. James Christiansen.”

In addition to his academic career, Christiansen served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, was an active member of Covenant Presbyterian church and served on several committees up until a few months before he passed.

A memorial will be held on the anniversary of his 88th birthday, 11 a.m. Sept. 1, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in College Station, TX.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Texas A&M Foundation in memory of Dr. James Christiansen. Please make checks payable to the Texas A&M Foundation and note “In memory of Dr. James Christiansen to benefit a memorial scholarship in his name” in the memo section. Checks should be mailed to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. To donate online, go to and select General Memorial; enter “In memory of Dr. James Christiansen” in the comments section.



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