N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has announced Dr. Edward Carroll Joyner and Dr. Ram Badan Singh as its 2013-2014 Distinguished Alumni. The two were honored at the University Club during the College’s annual Alumni Awards Reception Oct. 11. Josh Starling, executive director of the North Carolina FFA Foundation, presided at the reception, along with Dr. Richard Linton, College dean, and Gary Upchurch, past president of the CALS Alumni & Friends Society Advisory Board. The College’s Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni were also announced.
Linton welcomed those in attendance and congratulated the award winners, saying that they “represent the fulfillment of the promise of our land-grant mission in academics, research and extension. Their professional achievements and service to N.C. State and their communities exemplify the extraordinary possibility of achievement to our current students, who are our future alumni and leaders. Thank you all for your commitment to excellence.”
Joyner and Singh were recognized for their outstanding career achievements, which have brought honor to the College, and for their commitment to the land-grant principle of service to community, state and nation. Before receiving his award and responding, Joyner was paid tribute by Dr. Roger McCraw, professor emeritus in the Department of Animal Science. Singh, who was unable to attend the event but sent a video greeting, was honored in remarks from Dr. Charles Stuber, professor emeritus in the Department of Crop Science.
Joyner, who lives in Youngsville, grew up on a Sampson County farm. He is a cattleman, entrepreneur and the leading developer of the Golden Corral Restaurant chain. He earned his N.C. State degree in animal industry in 1956, after working his way through college selling vegetables and washing dishes in the cafeteria. He continues to support the university by giving his time and financial support to enhance student life.
One example of this is the E. Carroll Joyner Visitors Center — a gateway for students and visitors to the N.C. State campus — that was dedicated in September 2006. Another is his 1987 establishment of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Foundation to support beef cattle research at N.C. State. He also established an annuity that will provide future funds, as well as donating his herd of Angus beef cattle.
In appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the university, Joyner was awarded the 1994 Watauga Medal, the University’s top non-academic award. And in 2003, N.C. State presented him with an honorary doctorate of letters.
In March 2011, Joyner was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor that can be given to a citizen of North Carolina for contributions of excellence. Joyner was honored in November 2012 by the Triangle Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his body of philanthropic work, including support to the United Way of Franklin County’s Feeding Franklin food pantry network.
Singh is president of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences of India and chancellor of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal. He earned his Ph.D. in genetics from the College in 1965. His career has been dedicated to improving food, nutrition and ecological security; cutting-edge research and technology development in agriculture; higher education and human resources development; and policy and program creation in India, on the continent of Asia and globally.
Singh has made many important contributions in the fields of genetics, plant breeding and biotechnology; guided work of 45 doctoral degree recipients; and authored more than 300 research and policy papers and 12 books.
During the past 50 years, he has held several positions at national and international levels. He was a member of India’s National Commission on Farmers from 2004 to 2006; served as Assistant Director General of FAO of the United Nations and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific from 2000 to 2002; and held other senior FAO positions from 1979 to 1994 in Bangkok and Rome.
In India, he has been chairman of the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB, 1999-2000), director and vice chancellor of the prestigious Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi (1995-99) and dean, head of department, senior professor and chair/member of the Executive Council at leading universities (1964-1979).
In 2003, Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India – one of India’s highest civil honors. Proclaimed as Distinguished Alumnus of Banaras Hindu University, Singh has been awarded doctor of science (honoris causa) degrees from several prestigious Indian universities, the Gold Medal from the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial International Scientist Award, Dr. Zhu Shoumin International College of Nutrition Award and Distinguished Alumnus Awards. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Following the Distinguished Alumni Awards presentations, Starling announced the 2013 CALS Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni. These awards recognize the excellence and achievement of former CALS students, both in their fields of expertise and in service to their community.
2013 CALS Outstanding Alumni (listed with their nominating departments)
David W. Anderson, Prestage Department of Poultry Science
Lawrence W. Baldwin, Soil Science
Dr. Robert E. Eplee (posthumous), Crop Science
Dr. F. Eugene Hester, Applied Ecology
Jart P. Hudson Jr., Agricultural and Resource Economics
Robert C. Hunt, Animal Science
Dr. Douglas A. Landis, Entomolgy
W. Frank Lee, Agricultural Institute
Ronald L. Marlow, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Livia Marques, Horticultural Science
Dr. Harold H. Schmitz, Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
William B. Upchurch Jr., Agricultural and Extension Education
2013 Outstanding Young Alumni
Dr. Amanda L. Guthrie, DVM, Animal Science
Valaree L. Lund, Agricultural Institute
Sarah Ilene Menser, Soil Science
Dr. Sarah R. Thompson, Entomology
Dr. Qixin Zhong, Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
– Terri Leith