JMU remembers Justice Studies professor

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 6:40 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The JMU community is mourning the loss of Dr. Terry Beitzel, who taught justice studies and was the director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center at the university.

One justice studies professor highlighted his work in the community.

“He invigorated the Gandhi center so that it was reach-out oriented,” said Professor Glenn Hastedt. “Working with the community but also working with JMU students to get them to think about how one does justice and peace and nonviolence outside the textbook.”

One JMU alumna remembers working with him to expand the Gandhi center and get more students involved.

“He just really wanted to just help us instill in ourselves, what does nonviolence peace look like, and you know, and what do we reflect in that into ourselves and this inner conflict that we have and things like that, said Aaliyah McClean. “So he was always advocating for the center to grow and develop.”

Hastedt said Beitzel was skilled in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and he went to places like Kosovo, Inda and Africa as a guest speaker.

“Terry was very much into exploring ways in which nonviolence and responsibility can build a solid foundation for a community. And I think that’s an important legacy, both within JMU and Harrisonburg Rockingham County,” Hastedt said.

McClean says he was vocal about communication playing a major role in peace.

“Conflict is healthy,” McClean said. “That’s something we had talked about, was I think we try to move away from conflict, and we don’t wanna see that, however, conflict is good and we need it because essentially that helps to see another side of someone. And I think that was something I had always taken away.”

The justice department is working with the university and Beitzel’s family on a scholarship that will be in his name.

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