Over winter break, nobel-prize winning professor James M. Buchanan in the College of Science passed away. He was 93 years old.
Buchanan was an emeritus professor, a member of an elite group. The title is only given to retired full professors and associate professors, administrative officers, extra-collegiate faculty with continued appointment, and senior extension agents who are specially recommended by the Board of Visitors. The university’s president, Charles W. Steger, makes the nomination.
After nomination and confirmation, that individual is then eligible to receive an emeritus certificate from the university. Buchanan was also a university-distinguished professor.
Buchanan won a Nobel Prize in conomics in 1986 and was known for work in the field that greatly influenced President Ronald Reagan.
He was, perhaps, most widely known for his work in founding the Center for Study of Public Choice at Tech. Created in 1969, the center remained at Tech until the mid-'80s, when the economics department inflated in size as the university focused their energy on growing the program. The center moved to George Mason University in 1983.
Buchanan returned to Tech in 1988 and continued to organize lectures and workshops on economics for the student body. Buchanan was most recently recognized, through the university, during a birthday celebration in October 2009, where another Nobel Prize Winner, Eric Maskin, presented a talk at the university.
According to collegues, Buchanan's lasting legacy is his manner of research, which always aimed to look at things from a fresh perspective. He would often ask “What might we do that would as close as possible help to making everyone better off?”
Buchanan’s final wishes were that no funeral arrangements were held.