The Texas A&M years

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Hello Tim and all of Dr. Jim Yao's family:

We are very sad to learn of Jim's death. He and I served together at Texas A&M University from the time Jim became head of the civil engineering department until he and Anna moved to the Chicago area. During much of that time, I was head of the engineering technology department so we interacted with each other a great deal.

Jim was an excellent, highly dedicated teacher and a fine researcher. He adhered to the highest academic standards and took an abiding, personal interest in his students and his faculty colleagues. He used his superb origami talents to build cordial relationships with students, staff, and prospective students. He graciously and patiently taught even people like me some of the fundamental origami techniques.

Jim brought great honor to Texas A&M. I distinctly remember being on a visit to the National Science Foundation shortly after Jim's appointment to Texas A&M had been announced but before he had arrived. I was impressed by the number of NSF colleagues who made it a point to tell me how lucky Texas A&M was to have such a fine man come to head its Civil Engineering Department. I quickly discovered how correct they were.

I count Jim and Anna among our finest friends from our years at Texas A&M. It has been a distinct privilege and a genuine pleasure to know him.

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to you and all of Jim's family.

Regards, John

John and Betty Weese