Jim Atkinson Obituary, Death – Professor Jim Atkinson was a highly respected figure at the University of Guelph, known as a great comparative nutritionist and the father of pet nutrition at the university. His recent passing has left a heavy heart in the community, as many mourn the loss of this esteemed individual. Not only was Professor Atkinson known for his expertise in comparative nutrition, but he also had a significant impact as a rugby coach and faculty member.
He served as the coach for the Gryphon men’s and women’s rugby teams for a remarkable 11 years, from 1996-97 to 2006-07. During his tenure, he led the women’s rugby team to great success, establishing them as one of the most decorated teams in Canadian university sports. Under his guidance, the team achieved an undefeated record for two seasons and won numerous medals in both provincial and national competitions. His leadership and coaching prowess helped shape the team’s legacy.
Aside from his involvement in sports, Professor Atkinson dedicated 44 years to teaching on the University of Guelph campus. He began his career as a faculty member in the College of Biological Science before transitioning to the Department of Animal and Poultry Science (APS) in 1986. Throughout his long teaching tenure, he made a lasting impact on countless students, sharing his knowledge and passion for animal nutrition.
Professor Atkinson’s contributions extended beyond the classroom and the rugby pitch. He served as the College Royal Advisor for an impressive 30 years, providing support to one of the university’s most notable annual events. Additionally, he co-chaired the campus-wide United Way campaign from 2007 to 2010, showcasing his dedication to community service and philanthropy. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to undergraduate academic advising, he was awarded the Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising Medallion in 2004.
To honor Professor Atkinson’s legacy, his family has established a tribute giving page. This page supports the Jim Atkinson Rugby Scholarships and Wild Ontario, projects that were previously established to further his passion for rugby and wildlife. Through this tribute, his impact will continue to be felt in the areas he held dear.
The passing of Professor Jim Atkinson represents a significant loss to the University of Guelph community. His expertise in comparative nutrition, his coaching prowess, and his dedication to teaching and community service have left a lasting impression on all those who had the privilege of knowing him. His contributions to the fields of pet nutrition, rugby, and academia will be remembered and cherished for years to come.