Six leaders in agricultural, family and consumer sciences recently received honors from N.C. A&T State University at an awards luncheon in Greensboro. The awards were established to honor the legacies of leaders of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, while bringing attention to the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act. That 1890 federal legislation created the nation’s 19 historically black land-grant colleges and universities, known collectively as “the 1890s.”

Another N.C. A&T highlight observance will be held on April 23, which has been designated “1890 Day.” The observance will include a run/walk on the N.C. A&T campus.

The honorees are:

  • Thelma J. Feaster of Greensboro, a retired Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences specialist. She achieved recognition for her expertise in establishing nutrition, leadership and youth development programs for families and individuals with limited resources who are served by A&T’s Cooperative Extension Program.
  • Willie L. Willis of Whitsett, a retired professor of animal sciences and one of the nation’s few African American poultry scientists. He designed A&T’s modern poultry research and demonstration unit at the University Farm. His efforts brought in more than $2 million in research funding, and his relationships with the poultry industry resulted in scholarships, internships, equipment and financial contributions.
  • Arthur P. Bell of Greensboro, professor emeritus of agricultural education at N.C. A&T. His most enduring legacy is in the innumerable lives he influenced toward productive careers in agricultural sciences during his more than 40 years in education. His former students can be found today in leadership positions locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Daniel D. Godfrey of Greensboro, a rural sociologist who retired as dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. He was the first administrator of A&T’s Cooperative Extension Program after federal legislation provided direct funding. He has been inducted into numerous halls of fame of agricultural institutions, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service. He also is the first minority male to serve as associate program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
  • The late Dr.  Sidney H. Evans, an agricultural economist who served in many leadership roles at N.C. A&T. He was a member of the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame. His research helped guide the establishment of the Greensboro Agency Transportation Express project. He is considered a pioneer for leadership in applying agricultural economics toward social progress.
  • The late Dr. Howard F. Robinson, an agricultural economist who held many leadership positions at the university from the 1950s until his retirement in 1982. His many achievements included receiving the Excellence in Administration Award from N.C. A&T. His congressional testimony in support of farm-bill funding for the 1890s resulted in productive agricultural research and Cooperative Extension programs at N.C. A&T and the other 1890s.