In Memoriam: Jacob Kidd

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In Memoriam: Jacob Kidd

Posted on March 1, 2016

As many of you know we lost one of our master students this summer. He had just been in the department defending his thesis on April 27th, talking to friends and letting everyone know he was getting his act together. Then he was gone three weeks later at age 31.


Jacob Kidd (MA Applied Geography, 2015) passed away on Monday, May 18th while visiting his Uncle in the town of Old Fort near Hickory, NC. A tree fell on him and killed him instantly. Jacob was scheduled to receive his MA degree certificate in Applied Geography in September, and had attended the Department of Geography Commencement celebration just ten days earlier on Friday, May 8th. The photograph below was taken after the Department ceremony, and you can see how happy Jacob was to finally acquire his Masters. His smile speaks for itself.


From left to right: Robert Gifford (MA), DJ Perkins (PhD), Erin Klinger (second year MA), Jacob Kidd (MA), Jennnifer Alford (PhD), Dr. Keith Debbage (Professor), Anna Levi (MA), and Jason Earliwine (MA)

Jacob will be sorely missed and his degree certificate will be awarded posthumously. He successfully defended his thesis on Monday, April 27th but not in time to officially graduate in May. Jacob’s thesis was first rate and had already been published in the Southeastern Geographer – a refereed academic journal of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers ( The Department of Geography will be presenting the Kidd family with the degree certificate later this semester.