Calvin Tracy Harrington

December 25, 1942April 22, 2017

Calvin Tracy Harrington passed away on April 22 in Tallahassee, Florida, at the age of 74, after complications from a fall. Tracy’s love of learning and travel, his strong sense of fair play, and his joie de vivre, made a lasting impact on his family and wide network of friends, and he will be dearly missed by those who knew him.

Tracy is survived by his children Matt, Luke (Margaret), and Megan Duncan (Brian); his grandchildren Ben, Georgia, Paul, and Jack; and eight nieces and nephews. Tracy was preceded in death by Judy, his wife of 50 years; his parents, Ben and Sallie Harrington; his brothers Ben Jr. and Nick; and his sister Jessie Burnett.

After graduating from Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida and earning a degree in sociology from Washington and Lee University in 1965, Tracy moved his family to Africa, where he and Judy taught English at a Tanzanian secondary school. After earning a Ph.D from Florida State University in the 1970’s, Tracy returned with his family to Africa, this time as a professor at the University of Zambia. Tracy later was a pioneer in the field of international education as Director for International Programs at Murray State University and Valdosta State University, where he internationalized the campuses and established a number of faculty and student exchange programs. At his retirement in 2005, the Board of Trustees of Georgia’s state university system honored his contributions by announcing the creation of a state-wide award named after Tracy, which would recognize each year the person who does the most to advance international education in Georgia.

Tracy retired to Bainbridge, Georgia, in 2005, where he and Judy turned their three-acre home into a virtual botanical garden and fruit orchard. Tracy loved cultivating roses, especially old garden varieties, and, until recently, enjoyed volunteering once a week at Goodwood Gardens in Tallahassee.

Memorial donations may be made to Big Bend Hospice or Goodwood Gardens in Tallahassee. Tracy’s family would like to thank the nursing staff and caretakers at St. Augustine Plantation, Tapestry, and Big Bend Hospice for their attentive care.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, May 2, 2017
  • Reception Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Calvin Tracy Harrington

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Kulikoyela Kahigi

June 16, 2018

I was searching on the internet for people I knew and was quite saddened by the news of Tracy and Judy’s passing in 2017. They taught at Kahororo Secondary School, Bukoba, Tanzania between 1968 and 1970. Judy taught English, while Tracy taught English, English Literature and History. Judy also helped with the school dispensary. They were young, energetic, committed, caring and serious teachers. Tracy and Judy will be missed by their Tanzanian students, most of whom are over 65 now. Rest in peace, Tracy and Judy. Kulikoyela Kahigi,,

April 28, 2017

It is never easy to say goodbye to someone we love so much. Knowing that so many were loved and touched by him helps. Even more so, because he lives in their memories. May you have peace and comfort in the promises of Almighty God that there is a hope of seeing your loved one again. My condolences.

April 27, 2017

Tracy was a delight to work with, and his enthusiasm built the Study Abroad program at VSU. So many students and faculty were enriched by his commitment to internationalization. I spent two wonderful summers teaching in Paris and in London, thanks to Tracy Harrington. Melanie Byrd, Valdosta, Georgia

Dlynn Armstrong-Williams

April 27, 2017

Tracy was an inspiration to me as I started working in international education. He provided opportunities for thousands of students in Georgia to experience the world beyond the United States. Due to his efforts, many students had their world view expanded exponentially. His efforts impacted not only their lives, but the lives of their families and friends. His life had an impact that will be felt for generations. I was blessed by his mentorship and valued the time that we were able to work together.

Michael Noll

April 27, 2017

I have never encountered a champion for study abroad like Tracy. I had the pleasure of working with him for a number of years in connection with the European Council and as a Faculty Associate at the Center for International Programs at VSU. Tracy's passion for study abroad has literally opened the minds of tens of thousands of students throughout our university system, as he enabled them to venture outside their comfort zones, explore new horizons, and embrace the unknown, to truly become global citizens. Tracy will be sorely missed.

Ivan Nikolov

April 27, 2017

Rest in Peace, old friend. You deserve it having touched so many lives around the world.
Ivan Nikolov

Ruth Godfrey

April 27, 2017

Matt, My deepest condolences to your and your family. I saw a message from St. John's about the funeral and wondered if you were the same Matt from A-100. I hope to see you at the funeral if not before.

Melanie DeVore

April 25, 2017

Tracy mentored so many leaders in international education. I am amazed when I look back at the colleagues I worked with in the USG London Study Abroad Program. Tracy worked with each of us and helped us shape our classes and teaching styles to fit an international setting.

I feel really bad. Tracy taught in Africa and had a special love for that continent. Oh how I wish I could share with him how I am sitting at the computer editing a research proposal by a Rwandan student. I wish I could tell him how much I love working with the students. But, that is not to be so I will mix a very generous gin and tonic tonight and toast all the good Tracy did for all of us.

David Starling

April 25, 2017

Tracy was a mentor to me. He didn't tolerate the usual pointless discussions that go on in academia and found ways to get right to the point. He was a leader in Georgia in international education and he will be missed.