Government Professor Christopher Joyner passes away

On the evening of Saturday, September 10, Georgetown Professor Christopher C. Joyner passed away at the age of 63 in a hospital in the Virginia Hospital Center. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Joyner, who was a professor in Georgetown’s government department for 22 years, was also an accomplished and recognized scholar in the field of international law. He oversaw the University’s Master’s degree in International Law and Politics, and was co-founder and co-director of Georgetown’s Institute for Law, Science, and Global Security with colleague Professor Anthony Arend.

“Chris was … a dear friend and mentor to me and so many, and a true son of Georgetown,” Arend wrote in a blog post on Sunday. He also noted that Joyner’s passing was “peaceful,” and came as the result of a “short illness.”

Joyner’s research and expertise expanded throughout a breadth of topics within the fields of government and international relations. He was one of the preeminent experts on the legal issues surrounding Antarctica and the seas, and served as a senior research fellow for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Institute for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies at Australia’s University of Tasmania.

According to The Hoya, Joyner had been teaching an undergraduate course in International Law for the Fall 2011 semester, but officially stepped down from his teaching position last week.

Yesterday, Provost James O’Donnell sent out an email to the Georgetown professors about Joyner’s passing, which Arend published on his blog.

“Chris was a force of nature inĀ his scholarship, in his work with students, and in his ever cheeringĀ and vivid presence in the life of the campus,” O’Donnell wrote. “He will be remembered, and cannot be replaced.”

O’Donnell also mentioned in his email that funeral services are pending, and that there will be a memorial service held on campus.

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4 Comments on “Government Professor Christopher Joyner passes away

  1. Chris Joyner was the kind, funny, caring grandpa (despite being only 63!) of the faculty. That his jovial temperament and great humor was paired with a formidable and compelling intellect made him a rare gem indeed. This is truly a great loss for the entire GU community. I do hope that, at the very least, they name the Institute for Law, Science, and Global Security in his honor.

    You will be missed, Professor.

  2. Dr. J was one of those great professors who cared more that you learned something from him and your classmates, rather than the grade he might give you. Each class I had with him was focused on questions that students prepared, demonstrating his passion for a student-driven education. He was in fact jovial and loved starting off class with trivia questions and talking about his 20+ times going down to Mardi Gras, for which week he wrote on the syllabus “DR. J IS ON A SECRET MISSION.” I will have many memories of him, not the least of which was talking with him immediately after graduation where I gave thanks to him.

    Dr. J, you will be deeply missed.

  3. I concur with what everyone has said about Prof. Joyner. My grade in his class may have been one of the lowest I’ve received at Georgetown (my own fault, of course), but his personality and charm made the large lecture class such a delight to attend, with the trivia questions, random facts, jokes, engaging teaching style.
    Rest in peace, Dr. J. You will be missed.

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