Dr. Jon Rieger, professor of sociology, died earlier this week
The Department of Sociology sadly announces the death of Dr. Jon Rieger, who retired last month after serving 49 years in the department. Dr. Rieger earned his PhD in 1971 from Michigan State University and became an assistant professor in our department that same year. He served as department chair from 1978-1980 and worked on numerous department, college, and university committees over the years. Over the past couple of decades, his teaching was focused on rural sociology, sociology of music, and visual sociology - a field he helped develop with his research project in Ontonogan County, Michigan, where he returned for decades to photograph and visually chronicle the changes in the community there. He also created and taught our social change course for many years, and, at the graduate level, was well known for teaching research methods and was a member of numerous thesis and dissertation committees both in the department and across the university, particularly in mechanical engineering.
Dr. Rieger was a long-standing patron of the arts in Louisville and served for many years on the selection committee for the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. In recent years, he created several endowments for the University, including one for the School of Music and, for the Department of Sociology, one to advance the academic and professional development of our graduate students and another to establish a speaker series which has brought several notable academics to campus over the past few years.
Dr. Reiger leaves behind a long history of hard work, dedication, and contributions to both the University and the Louisville community - and he will be sorely missed by many.