It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of two beloved members of our institution, Dr. Kerry Litzenberg and Dr. Robert “Bob” Whitson. Dr. Litzenberg, often referred to as “Dr. Litz” by his students was known as a master teacher and founded our very successful agribusiness sales program. Dr. Whitson was a man who lived with the “service first” mindset, most recently demonstrating that by coming back to Texas A&M AgriLife to serve as the interim associate director for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s state operations.
Litzenberg Service schedule
Visitation for Dr. Litzenberg will be March 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a memorial service from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Interment will be private. Services will be managed by Calloway-Jones Funeral Home, 3001 S. College Ave, Bryan.
Whitson Service Schedule
Services for Dr. Whitson will be Monday, March 21 at 11:00 a.m. at the A&M United Methodist Church, 417 University Drive, College Station.
About Dr. Bob Whitson
Dr. Whitson epitomized the core value of selfless service, from his military career to his leadership at Texas A&M. His commitment to be a benefit to others fueled his commitment to excellence, led him to seve in several posts that contributed to the improvement of agriculture throughout the state, nation and world. He joined our College in 1974 and taught agricultural economics and range science at Texas A&M until 1981, then worked for 12 years in the trust division of Frost National Bank in San Antonio, where he rose to the rank of senior vice president.
He returned to Texas A&M as a professor and head of the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management, where helped focus research needs on the most pressing issues related to rangeland conservation and use until 2003. In 2002, he was asked to serve as the interim department head for the Department of Animal Science, and he also served as the associate vice chancellor and associate dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and deputy director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research, known then as the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station. After serving in that position for three years, he left Texas A&M to serve as the vice president, dean and director of the Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in Stillwater, Oklahoma, a position he held until his retirement in 2012. In 2018, Texas A&M AgriLife leadership tapped him to return to serve as the interim associate director for state operations.
Whitson, a native of Spearman, earned his doctorate in agriculture economics from Texas A&M in 1974. Whitson was inducted into the Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry within the Department of Agricultural Economics in 2011. The honor recognizes outstanding former students for meritorious accomplishments in their field. It is the highest department-level honor. Whitson earned his bachelor’s in range management and his master’s in agricultural economics from Texas Tech University.
About Dr. Kerry Litzenberg
Dr. Litzenberg, a Regents Professor and Minnie Stevens Piper Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, started as an assistant professor in 1978 and retired in 2019 after more than four decades of service to the university. He is remembered as an engaging instructor who inspired his students and made lasting contributions to the department and university. He was an example of teaching excellence, greatly respected by his students and was always ranked among the top professors.
While at Texas A&M, his primary activities included teaching and research in agribusiness management, food and agriculture sales, sales management, and human resource planning and performance appraisal. He also worked on the application of computers and quantitative techniques for decision-making and with the development of the agribusiness curriculum.
Litzenberg was also involved in applied research for agribusiness education, structure, marketing, sales management, operational decision-making and strategic management. Litzenberg was also active as a national and international expert on curriculum design in agribusiness.
Throughout his tenure, Litzenberg was recognized with the Regents Professor and Eppright Professor of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence titles, as well as the Presidential Professor of Teaching Excellence Award, the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Teaching Award multiple times and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Teaching Excellence Award.
Please share this with those who may have worked with or remember Dr. Litzenberg and Dr. Whitson.
Mark A. Hussey
Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean, Agriculture and Life Sciences