Burdett Loomis, a former professor at the University of Kansas, died at 76 years old on Saturday night.
Chancellor Doug Girod confirmed Loomis' death in a news release Monday.
“He stands among the giants in KU history, and his passing is a loss for the entire community,” Girod said. “May we honor his legacy by continuing our university’s commitment to educating and mentoring students, and to scholarship that makes a difference in the world."
Loomis was born in 1945 in New York and began his teaching career at KU in the 1970’s. He taught at KU for more than 40 years, according to the KU website.
Loomis also held several positions, such as director of administrative communications for former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and interim director of the Robert J. Dole Institute for Public Service and Public Policy from 1997 to 2001.
Girod described Loomis as a “mentor” to students, colleagues, elected officials and journalists who had the opportunity to engage with him.
“We are especially moved by the stories of his former students, hundreds of whom got their first internship or job through the Washington, D.C., and Topeka internship programs that Bird developed,” Girod wrote. “These programs today stand among the best of their kind nationally.”
On Sunday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly tweeted about Loomis and said that for decades Loomis was the voice of reason in Kansas politics and a mentor to many KU political science students.
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Burdett Loomis,” Kelly wrote. “My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”