During his 32-year career in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), Wayne Banwart made significant contributions to the growth of ACES’ Honors Program and the James Scholar Program. Banwart passed away on Dec. 13, 2019.
Banwart joined the ACES faculty as an assistant professor of soil science in 1975, and was promoted to full professor in 1984. Banwart went on to serve as assistant dean of academic programs, and as interim associate dean of academic programs. He worked tirelessly for the advancement of the Honors Program and the empowerment of ACES James Scholars. He retired in 2007.
Among Banwart’s accomplishments was his reorganization and revitalization of the Honors Program. His enthusiastic support of the production of Honors Program newsletters, the ACES Honors handbook, and expansion of the ACES James Scholar website significantly enhanced the quality of communication between the students and the administrators of the Honors Program. Under his leadership, the number of ACES James Scholars grew from 97 (in fall 1999) to 250 (in fall 2005).
Banwart earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, and a master’s degree and doctorate in soil science, all from Iowa State University. His research focused on environmental concerns, including sorption of organics by soils, agricultural effects of acidic deposition, and reclamation of explosives-contaminated soils. Additionally, Banwart served as graduate program coordinator and associate head of the Agronomy Department during the late 1980's and early 1990's.
The family has requested that memorials be directed to the University of Illinois Foundation for the Dr. Wayne L. Banwart Legacy Scholarship fund (776001). Please send to the UI Foundation, Harker Hall, 1305 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801. Contributions may be provided online at www.giving.illinois.edu. Include Dr. Wayne L. Banwart Legacy Scholarship fund (776001) in the “other” field of the giving form.
The obituary for Wayne Banwart is available online.