PULLMAN, Wash. – A memorial service for Vishnu N. Bhatia, recognized as the architect of Washington State University Honor College, will be held April 18.
Dr. Bhatia, 78, died Jan. 16 in Pullman. The memorial service is set for 3-5 p.m. in WSU’s Honors Hall.
Bhatia, a native of India, was an internationally recognized pioneer in building education opportunities for American students abroad and foreign students in the United States. The 47-year WSU faculty member was honored and revered for his contributions to higher education and the university, including a knighthood from Denmark in 1990 for his decades-long work building ties between the Scandinavian nation and WSU. He was the director of international education from 1973-1990.
Known to a generation in Pullman as “Vic,” Bhatia, was on the faculty of the College of Pharmacy for 41 years, but made his greatest impact in leading the Honors Program as its director for more than 28 years, from 1964 to 1993. He defined the program as preparing students to become “active and thoughtful citizens, capable of assuming leadership roles in their professions and communities.” Under his leadership, WSU’s Honors Program won national praise, including an article in the New York Times. Admission to the program was by invitation only and usually drew about 600 students with high school grade point averages of 3.8 or better, who took an honors curriculum in addition to their major.
“He is a remarkable, gifted and caring man who has personally influenced a generation of WSU Honors undergraduates,” said a former student.