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University community remembers geographer, center founder John Augelli

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas professor emeritus of geography and founder of the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies has died.

John Augelli, 96, died March 20 in Lawrence.

“Professor Augelli’s legacy at KU was shaped by his leadership as an administrator, his research in his field and his engaged teaching,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “On behalf of the entire university, I offer my deepest condolences to his family, his friends and to all who knew him at KU.”

During his time as a professor at the university, Augelli served as chair of the Department of Geography, dean of International Studies and founded the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies in 1961.

Augelli published many academic articles and seven books, including two seminal texts on Central American and Caribbean geography.

James Shortridge, professor of geography and atmospheric science, said Augelli built KU's Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies into one of the best in the nation and led the geography department through a difficult period of transition in the 1980s.

“He was an ebullient, dapper man who, with seeming ease, maintained an admirable blend of scholarship, teaching, university administration and public service,” Shortridge said. “John embraced life fully. I admired his bold and confident manner, his zest for adventure and his dogged pursuit of excellence.”

A memorial mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, 1631 Crescent Road.