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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology


Plant science faculty and researcher remembered 

Dr. Mahendra Bhangoo, a professor emeritus of plant science at Fresno State, passed away on Monday, January 7 at the age of 87.

Bhangoo served as a full-time faculty member from 1976 through 1992 and taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate soils courses and served as the graduate program director for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology from 1990 through 1992.

“Dr. Bhangoo was somebody that you always liked being around,” said Mahlon Hile, Fresno State plant science professor emeritus. “He loved to work with students in the field or in the laboratory, and he was widely respected by them because he was always attentive to their needs and encouraged them along in their careers. He was equally loved by industry professionals and his peers for his innovative mind and problem-solving nature.”

Dr. Mahendra Bhangoo and researcher Tim JacobsenHe published research on plant, irrigation, and soil study related to nitrogen, phosphorous and lime applications, as well as Cavendish bananas, grapes, soybeans and cane sugar growing. Another special research interest was kenaf, an east-central African plant known for its food and fiber applications. He served as president of its international association, and organized an international kenaf conference in Fresno.

Before Fresno State, he served as a professor of agronomy from 1966 to 1976 at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Prior to university academia, he worked on research for the USDA from 1964 to 1966 in New Orleans in sugar refining and with the Standard Fruit Company from 1957 to 1963.

He received a botany and horticulture bachelor’s degree in 1950 from Agri University (India), a master’s degree in 1954 in subtropical horticulture and fruit physiology from UCLA, and a doctoral degree in 1956 in soil fertility from Kansas State.

A funeral service was held Saturday, Jan. 12 at Harbor Law-Mt. Olive Memorial Park and Mortuary in Costa Mesa.

He was born on April 15, 1931 in India, and is survived by his son Guri Bhangoo, his daughter Gurdip Cheema and four grandchildren.

“We have heard from so many graduates who fondly remember his impact in so many ways,” said Guri Bhangoo. “Former students especially talked about how important his classes and industry field trips were in their academic and professional careers.”

More information on contributing to an Ag One scholarship endowment for agronomy students is in honor of Mahendra and Surjit Bhangoo and family is at the link.