1890 Honorees

N.C. A&T Honors Agricultural Leaders, Legends and Pioneers

Six leaders in agricultural, family and consumer sciences received honors from North Carolina A&T State University at a recent 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 A&T highlight observance will be held Thursday 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:

  • Dr. Thelma J. Feaster of Greensboro, a retired Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences specialist. She achieved recognition as a “program guru” 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.

Dr. Feaster was honored as a leader for her outstanding efforts in the advancement of her field at the local, regional and state level.

  • Dr. 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.

Dr. Willis was honored as a leader for exemplifying the land-grant ideals of discovery, learning and global engagement.

  • Dr. 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.

Dr. Bell was honored as a legend for his exceptional teaching and mentorship skills.

  • Dr. 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 the halls of fame, of numerous agricultural institutions, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service. Dr. Godfrey was cited for achieving many groundbreaking “firsts,” including being the first minority male to serve as associate program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Dr. Godfrey was honored as a legend for his outstanding career as an educator, manager and administrator.

  • 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.

Dr. Evans was honored as a pioneer for his outstanding leadership and success in applying agricultural economics toward social progress, locally and nationally.

  • 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.

Dr. Robinson was honored as a pioneer for his efforts and testimony to Congress in support of farm bill funding for the 1890s. Those efforts resulted in productive agricultural research and Cooperative Extension programs at N.C. A&T and the other 1890s.

More information about these individuals and the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the Second Morrill Act of 1890 at A&T can be found by visiting Second Morrill Act Celebration.