Leon Geyer, professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1981, Geyer made significant scholarly contributions to agricultural law and policy. His work focused on studying and interpreting law-impacting agriculture, land, environmental, and farm taxes.

The impact of his scholarship was recognized with the prestigious Award of Excellence for Professional Scholarship by the American Agricultural Law Association in 2008.

In service to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Geyer directed and taught in the commonwealth’s largest tax practitioner program. He also provided national leadership as a nine-year chair of National Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation. Geyer provided professional writing training for tax practitioners and was an advisor to IRS Publication 225.

His many contributions were recognized by Virginia Tech when he received its Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence in 2005.

In the classroom, Geyer taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses across the department curriculum to more than 10,000 students. Over the course of his career, he took more than 200 students to Australia to study land, water, food and agriculture. His students often heard his hallmark response, “it depends” because he placed great emphasis on critical thinking and not the recitation of facts.

Geyer advised many students with their master’s degree and doctoral dissertations and helped countless undergraduates with academic and career guidance. He co-wrote many professional articles with undergraduate students. In 1997, he received the Alumni Academic Advising Award, the university’s highest honor for dedication to advising undergraduate and graduate students.

Geyer also was an advisor to the undergraduate honor system for eight years. Under his leadership, a docket days was instituted to clear unacceptable delays in hearing cases. He also served on graduate honor panels.

He also served the Faculty Senate as secretary, vice president, and president, and served several times as a member of and chair of the Commission on Faculty Affairs.

Geyer is a member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the American Bar Association, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the American Agricultural Law Association, the Indiana Bar Association, and the Southern Agricultural Economics Association. He received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

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