Virginia Institute of Marine Science founder Dr. William Jennings Hargis Jr. passed away Oct. 17 at the age of 87. He served VIMS for 50 years as the institute’s director, dean of the school of marine science, researcher, policy advisor and mentor.
In his time as director, Hargis expanded VIMS from a single building to a 40-acre campus with 11 laboratory and teaching buildings, a field laboratory on the Eastern Shore and an international reputation. He wrote more than 130 research publications and edited, translated or reviewed more than 500 scientific documents. In a 2003 interview, he rated the founding of VIMS as his “most significant accomplishment.”