Jamie Bishop, beloved husband, devoted son, gentle colleague, and generous friend, died at the age of 35 while teaching introductory German. Although his courses were legendarily rigorous, “Herr Bishop” was popular with students as he was always available to give whatever individual attention they needed to succeed. Jamie was a fun-loving but no-nonsense man; easy-going but passionate about the environment, nature, art, and teaching. Tall and thin, with a striking long ponytail, Jamie regularly cut his hair to donate it to Locks of Love.
Jamie moved to Blacksburg in 2005, when he and his wife, Stefanie Hofer, both joined the faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Jamie also worked as an instructor for the Faculty Development Institute. Before moving to Blacksburg, Jamie lived and worked as an academic technology liaison at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jamie had a reputation as a techno guru and a passionate and gifted photographer. His art vibrantly captures the intensity with which he viewed the world and the beauty he found there. Jamie also designed book jacket covers and created multimedia science fiction art, an interest likely cultivated by his father, Michael Bishop, an award-winning science fiction author. Jamie had planned to enter the B.F.A. program at Virginia Tech in fall 2007 to study graphic art.
Jamie hailed from the small town of Pine Mountain, Ga., and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Georgia. He interned at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and then spent many years abroad. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, and also worked as a freelance translator, German tutor, and teacher of English in Heidelberg.
A man of keen wit with a contagious enthusiasm for life, Jamie enjoyed working with wood (shelves, tables, etc.), strolling through antique stores and never missed the chance to go to a used book store. He was a film connoisseur and devoted fan of the Atlanta Braves.
Jamie shared the conviction that studying foreign languages and cultures is not only a joy but also fundamental to learning about and understanding humanity. To honor his memory, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures has established a scholarship for German majors at Virginia Tech. Donations may be made payable to the Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. for the Jamie Bishop Scholarship and sent to Virginia Tech Foundation, University Development (0336), Blacksburg, VA 24061.
Residence in Blacksburg
Instructor, German/Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Joined Virginia Tech on August 10, 2005