Barrie Logan, professor who impacted Pierce community for decades, dies at 83

Barrie Logan, professor who impacted Pierce community for decades, dies at 83

Longtime chemistry professor and former Academic Senate President Barrie Logan died on Jan. 2. He was 83.

Logan leaves behind a transformative legacy at Pierce College, where he taught for more than 30 years until his retirement in 2006. 

“Barrie was a lovely man who made friends throughout the campus,” said Ruth Logan, his wife. “He impacted the college from many directions.”

Those impacts lasted. Some of his most notable achievements at Pierce and in the local community include his work to secure funding for the Center for the Sciences and his collaboration with other community college faculty across California to create the academic calendar that is still in use today—shortening the semesters so the fall ends before winter break, when it previously reconvened afterward.

Although his leadership work was important to him, Logan’s loved ones said he equally valued his day-to-day interactions with students.

“He was a gentle, kind person who talked to students as real people,” Ruth Logan said. “He never talked down to them. He wanted students to learn, so he invented many interactive classroom activities.”

Logan spent the majority of his career working with students, even when he held campus leadership roles. He taught at Pierce from 1972 to 2006, then retired and moved to Austin, Texas. He lived there with family until his death.

His legacy also lives on in the many professors he mentored, such as current chemistry professor Isidore Goodman. 

“I chose to come to Pierce because I was very impressed by the faculty here and by him,” Goodman said. “I kind of knew I’d be working with him for the rest of my career. Right from the beginning, he served as a good mentor to me.”

Dean of Math and Sciences Donna-Mae Villanueva said she remembers Logan’s kindness to those around him. She recalls when, as president of the Academic Senate, Logan passed a resolution congratulating her on earning her doctorate and presented her with a certificate, to her surprise. 

“When he gave me the certificate, I didn’t work very closely with him and I didn’t think he knew who I was,” Villanueva said. “If he was like this with me, someone he barely worked with, that says a lot about a man. I think that really encapsulates what kind of wonderful leader he was.”

Villanueva said Logan will be “deeply missed,” but his contributions to Pierce will be remembered. 

“I’m being biased, but I think we have the best science faculty in the entire district and he was a key part of that,” Villanueva said. “He was passionate and just truly a joy.”

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