Grading

Dr. John W. Valley Retires from GIA Board of Governors

GradingNov 27, 2023

Dr. John W. Valley Retires from GIA Board of Governors

To honor his legacy, GIA has set up a scholarship in his name.

GIA Dr. John W. Valley
From left: Governor Dr. Barbara Dutrow, Williams Alumni Distinguished Professor of Geology at Louisiana State University; Governor Susan Jacques, GIA President and CEO; and Dr. John W. Valley, who is retiring from GIA’s board of governors.
Carlsbad, Calif.—A longtime member of the Gemological Institute of America’s board of governors is stepping down.

Dr. John W. Valley, who has served on the board since 2014, retired following the board’s annual meeting earlier this month.

Valley is a geoscientist, a Charles R. Van Hise Distinguished Professor, and the former chair of the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

He is known for his research in mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, and other Earth sciences. 

Valley also led “pioneering studies” of zircon, the oldest gem, said GIA, and his work showed that habitable conditions and oceans existed on Earth earlier than scientists had previously thought.

 Related stories will be right here … 

He is a fellow of seven prestigious professional societies, a past-president of the Mineralogical Society of America, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Valley has penned more than 400 articles and held editorial positions for several scientific journals.

In 2017, fellow scientists honored Valley’s work by naming a newly discovered mineral species, valleyite, after him.

GIA has established a scholarship in Valley’s name to honor him.

The merit-based scholarship offers full tuition for one student to enroll in the GIA Graduate Gemologist program at the Carlsbad campus in 2024.

It is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 

Similar scholarships have been set up to recognize past governors Thomas Insley, Dione Kenyon, Elliot Tannenbaum and Dr. Barbara Sawrey, all of whom retired from the board in 2022. 

“Just as John’s extensive research and teaching left an indelible mark on the scientific community, his wise counsel and keen scientific insight leave a lasting legacy at GIA,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president, CEO and governor. 

“With his remarkable academic background, he helped advance the institute’s research programs to the point where, today, GIA's diamond research ranks with those of the top institutions in the world.”

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