James Gardner of Richmond, former Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist and administrator, has been conferred the “associate professor emeritus of Virginia Cooperative Extension” title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Cooperative Extension since 1976 until his retirement in 2002, Gardner provided distinguished service as associate professor, Extension specialist, and 4-H educational centers and agricultural liaison. He led Virginia’s six 4-H educational centers to organizational and fiscal sustainability and served as the chief communications link between Virginia Cooperative Extension and state and federal agricultural agencies.

For many years, Gardner was Virginia Cooperative Extension’s primary contact for statewide emergency preparedness. He developed a memorandum of understanding between Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, which ensured collaborative and effective interaction between the two agencies in the event of a natural disaster. He also chaired Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Committee on Homeland Security.

Gardner received the Distinguished Service Award from the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Gamma Chapter, the Honorary 4-H All Star Award, and the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center’s President’s Award.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, his master’s degree from Radford University, and his doctorate’s degree from the University of Maryland.