James Madison University

Dr. Jack Presbury To Retire in September, 2014

PHOTO: Jack Presbury
Jack Presbury, our award-winning Counseling faculty member who has been an inspiring mentor, supervisor, and educator for over three decades here in the Valley, will be retiring next September.  He will continue to write and teach part-time, but as a Renaissance man, Jack will have no trouble finding things to do!  He plans to continue publishing professional books, chapters, and journal articles on such wide-ranging topics as brief counseling, artificial intelligence, counselor education, and cognitive science.  And after retirement, Jack is looking forward to having more time to add to the more than 500 songs that he already has written in his musical career.  With Gary Bugg, Jack recently formed a duet, “Carter’s Crossing,” which has performed at local venues, including the Oak Grove Folk Festival.

Among his many honors, Jack has received the National Award for Publication in Counselor Education from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the College of Psychology and Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and James Madison University’s Madison Scholar Award.  However, even more impressive is that Jack is a member of an elite and all-too-rare breed of true scholars who reads voraciously, actively seeks out new intellectual challenges, and regularly displays a brilliant, penetrating and profound intelligence.  Given his wide-ranging interests, talents and passions, it is not surprising that Jack is just as likely to quote Bob Dylan as he is Dylan Thomas, recite Barnie as he is the Bard, or recount a story about Matlock as he is about Maslow. 

With his colleagues and students, Jack is always generous with his assistance and support, willing to engage in stimulating discussions at the drop of a hat, and unstinting in his commitment to share his time, thoughts, and wisdom.  Jack is a source of inspiration in his determination to dig deeply into an idea, and in his unwillingness to settle for a simplistic or superficial consideration of an issue.  He writes thoughtful research articles, beautiful poetry, and poignant songs.  He can handle a hammer and nail as skillfully as he can handle a computer and diskette.  He takes tremendous satisfaction in having a personal life, savoring those times when he can just “be.”

In short, Jack Presbury is a one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated event who will continue after retirement to surprise us with his insights, touch us with his music, and amaze us with his discoveries.