George P. "Pope" Atkins, Class of 1955

(03/04/1934 12/03/2016)


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George Pope Atkins of Annapolis, MD died on December 3, 2016 at Hospice of the Chesapeake due to complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. He was born to George Taylor and Louise Long Atkins on March 4, 1934 in Austin, TX. Pope, as he was known to all, was 82 years old. Pope grew up in Austin.

Pope started at UT in 1952 and graduated in 1955. At UT he was enrolled in the Navy ROTC program. After earning a BA in English he was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy and earned his wings as a Naval Aviator. He rose to the rank of LCDR and flew S2Fs -- aircraft carrier-based anti-submarine aircrafts -- in the Pacific for 4 years. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves for eight more years.

In August 1960, he married Joan Jorns. They lived in Washington, D.C. where Pope received his PhD in International Relations from American University (from which he later received a special award for Academic Leadership). They then moved to New York City and from there, they spent three years in Argentina and Ecuador while Pope worked for Citibank in its international banking division. In 1966 Pope joined the civilian faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy where he taught International Relations and Latin American Politics for 28 years. He authored twelve academic books, numerous journal articles, and served as department chair for four years. During his tenure at USNA, he spent sabbaticals and summer terms researching and writing at the Institute of Latin American Studies on Tavistock Square in London, the London School of Economics, the University of Texas, American University and in the Dominican Republic. He held the Tom Slick Chair of World Peace at the LBJ School in 1991-92. After retiring from the Naval Academy in 1994 as Professor Emeritus, he spent eight years as a Research Fellow at the UT Institute of Latin American Studies. The couple eventually moved to a cottage in the woods on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Pope is survived by his beloved wife Joan, his sister Louann (Larry) Temple of Austin, TX, children Taylor (Maggie) Atkins of Chatham, NJ, Virginia (Jeffrey) Wilson of Annapolis, MD, Kristen (Jason Lyman) Atkins of Charlottesville, VA, and grandchildren Carly and Tyler Wilson, Zachary and Ethan Atkins, and Cole and Renee Lyman.


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Last Updated: January 25, 2017