In memoriam: Clifton D. Bryant, professor emeritus of sociology

Clifton D. Bryant

Clifton D. Bryant

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 16, 2010 – Clifton Dow Bryant, professor emeritus of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, died Sept. 13 at Heritage Hall Nursing Home in Blacksburg, Va. He was 77.

Bryant came to Virginia Tech in 1972, as chair of the Department of Sociology, where he remained until his retirement in 2007. At Virginia Tech he received six teaching awards and his college’s Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award.

During his career, Bryant had faculty status at six American colleges and universities and two Asian universities. He also was a visiting scientist at three scientific institutes, including the United States Army Research Institute. He received two Fulbright Summer Awards, permitting him to tour Hungary and The People's Republic of China.

He was a past president of the Southern Sociological Society, who inducted him into their Honor Roll of Fame, and the Mid-South Sociological Association, who awarded Bryant their Distinguished Career Award.

He founded the academic journals, Sociological Symposium and Deviant Behavior. Additionally he served as associate editor or member of the editorial board of six other journals. Bryant wrote or edited 11 single-volume books, edited one four-volume encyclopedia and one two-volume reference handbook, co-edited one two-volume reference handbook, and recently published another two-volume encyclopedia.

His two-volume, Handbook of Death and Dying was selected by the American Library Association as one of the "Outstanding Reference Source" books for 2003.

Bryant is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patty Watts Bryant, of Brookhaven, Miss.; four children; and five grandchildren.

Interment will be Saturday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. at Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson, Miss., where a graveside service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech includes programs in the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college seeks to illuminate human experience and expression by creating works of lasting scholarly, cultural, and aesthetic value; empower individuals to engage critically with the complexities of a diverse, global society; and foster the inquiry, innovation, and growth that produce individual and social transformation.