John R. Borchert
October 24, 1918 – March 30, 2001
Died March 30, 2001 after an extraordinary life of scientific
study, teaching and travel dedicated to the understanding and advancement of our
community and world.
Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Geography,
University of Minnesota
Loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and
mentor to generations of students from Minnesota and throughout the world.
A Life’s Calling:
"For me, life as a geographer has been a succession
of discoveries, beginning by chance at a particular time and place, and each
leading to another."
"It would be hard to imagine a more intellectually liberating
experience than backing off and looking at one’s self on the face of the earth
in this way. Nor would it be easy to think of any more efficient way to
understand the locations and interactions among a great variety of day-to-day
activities while, at the same time helping in the ultimate scientific quest to
understand the role of humanity on the earth."
Hooked on Geography
John had to report to Camp McCoy in Wisconsin for discharge
from the military in 1945. Returning to Crown Point, he passed through Madison,
home of the University of Wisconsin..…Jane suggested
that I stop at Madison and talk with ‘those men,’ Finch and Trewartha"
(leading American geographers).
"Prof. Finch received me graciously. We talked at length about
my background and interests. Presently, he looked at his watch and observed that
he had a class to teach in a few minutes on Marine West Coast climates. ’Would
you like to give the lecture?’, he asked."
"At the end of the hour, I was
drained; the blackboard was filled with outline headings and map sketches; and
the class applauded. I had found the field. I was hooked, for good."
A Memorial Celebration of John Borchert’s
Ted Mann Concert Hall
West Bank, University of Minnesota
Saturday April 28, 2001
Preceding: The John R. Borchert Map Library in the basement of Wilson
library will open at 11:00 AM for informal
Following: Everyone is
invited to a reception in the atrium of the Carlson School
Call for Papers:
We would appreciate receiving favorite memories or thoughts involving
John. Ideally, we’d like to share those remembrances with his community of
friends. Notes or favorite photos that arrive by April 22 will be compiled and
available at the celebration and on the family web site: www.borchert.com\john.
You can e-mail notes to firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail them to:
c/o David Borchert
135 Edgewood Ave. S.
Golden Valley, MN 55426
If you would like your note read at the
event, let us know when you send it to us. If you would like to speak at the
celebration, please notify us by April 22 to help us plan the event.
Memorials preferred to the John R. Borchert Map Library Endowment Fund
and can be mailed to:
Department of Geography
414 Social Science
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Parking is reserved for those attending the memorial celebration in the 19th
Avenue Ramp, which is connected via skyway to the Carlson School of