DR Frank Weirsma was my professor at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Arizona (U of A) in 1976. He taught Agricultural Engineering. It is very sad to learn that he has passed away.
Dr Weirsman was a very nice person and one of my favorite professors; I valued him greatly. I remember how he used to mentor me, which I very much appreciated, especially as I had gone to the USA from Saudi Arabia. During my college years at the U of A, he gave me good take-home advice with regard to my studies and how to handle priorities in my day-to-day activities. He gave me the inspiration to pursue my agricultural engineering course seriously.
In the mid-80s, he visited Saudi Arabia as a consultant to the Al Safi dairy project, one of the biggest dairy farms in Saudi Arabia. He needed some data to complete his project and I gladly helped him to obtain good data that he was not able to obtain from government branches. During his visit to Al Safi, we met in Riyadh and we talked the whole day, reminiscing about the good old days back in my college years and how he mentored me.
In 2011, I was invited to the U of A to give a talk about Agricultural Development Strategies and how agriculture could improve security, alleviate poverty and promote economic growth. I requested that Dr Weirsma be invited and for him to have a seat in front. He was very happy that he was able to attend. During a private discussion with the CALS faculty and Dean Shane Burgess, I insisted that Dr Weirsma be seated at the head table, despite his reluctance, due to his seniority and in order for me to show my respect for him.
Although we never met after this event, we communicated by email once in a while to discuss current affairs I have communicated by email once in a while to discuss current affairs.
I will never forget all the fond memories I have shared with him.
May God accept his soul and rest in peace.
Dr. Turki Faisal Al Rasheed
The University of Arizona Alumni