Perry Adkisson

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Perry Lee Adkisson​

(Texas entomologist: The first person to receive all three of the world's major prizes in Agriculture — Alexander von Humboldt Award,
Wolf Prize, and World Food Prize)


Born March 11, 1929​​
Blytheville, Mississippi County, Arkansas, USA​
Died June 25, 2020 (aged 91)​
Bryan, Brazos County, Texas

Alma mater:
Armorel High School
(Mississippi County, Arkansas)
University of Arkansas
Kansas State University
Harvard University
(postdoctoral fellow)

Political Party Republican
Spouse (1) Frances R. Adkisson (married c. 1956-1995, her death)

(2) Gloria Ray Adkisson (married c. 1998-2020, his death) Children :
Amanda Adkisson Crockford
Stepchildren
Melissa Ray
Michael Ray
Parents:
Robert "Luby" and Imogene P. Adkisson

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1951-1953
Battles/wars Korean War

Perry Lee Adkisson (March 11, 1929 – June 25, 2020) was an entomologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, who was the first person to be honored with all three of the world's major prizes in Agriculture—the Alexander von Humboldt Award, the Wolf Prize, and the World Food Prize.[1]

Background

The younger of two sons of Robert "Luby" Adkisson and Imogene P. Adkisson (1903-1992),[2] he was born on the family cotton and soybean farm near n Blytheville, Arkansas. He graduated c. 1946 first in a class of six from the still-standing rural Armorel High School in the unincorporated community of Armorel in Mississippi County, Arkansas.[1]

In 1950, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.He was drafted into the United States Army in 1951 during the Korean War and was discharged in 1953. He immediately enrolled in the University of Arkansas again earned in 1954 a Master of Science in Agronomy in 1954. [1]

Career

In 1956, Adkisson received a Ph.D. in entomology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2001, he received Doctor of Letters from Texas A&M for his work in integrated pest management. He was (IPM). He held the faculty rank of Chancellor Emeritus and Distinguished Professor-Emeritus.[1]

After a short stint at the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri, he joined the faculty of the entomology department at Texas A&M University's entomology department in 1958, later serving as department head, deputy chancellor, and vice president for agriculture and renewable resources before being named chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, a post he filled from 1986 to 1990.Adkisson was instrumental in developing what is now known as integrated pest management. Adkisson was a past president and fellow of the Entomological Society of America and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. After retirement as chancellor, he served as Executive Director of the George H. W. Bush Library Foundation. During his career, Perry received twenty-seven honors and gave seventy-five lectures. He received a congressional appointment to the National Science Board of the National Sciences Foundation. He authored or coauthored 201 scholarly articles.[1]

He worked with both state and congressional members to increase funding for the Texas A&M System’s research and extension programs. He also established several centers, including the Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston. Adkisson was a leader in bringing the formerly named Corpus Christi State University, Texas A&I University, Laredo State University and West Texas State University into the Texas A&M System.[3]

TAMU Chancellor John Sharp, a Democrat who formerly served as state senator, railroad commissioner, and comptroller of public accounts praised the Republican Adkisson as "a giant in the Aggie family." Sharp added: "As a legislator I watched him work in the capital for Texas A&M … He presided over the addition of new schools, was a key driver of the Bush School of Government and Public Service, and garnered profound respect for himself and the A&M System. And he did it all by being a truly nice guy. ..."[3]

Family and death

From his first marriage of thirty-nine years to Frances R. Perry (1928-1995), he had a daughter, Amanda Adkisson Crockford of College Station. He then married the former Gloria Ray c. 1998, by whom he acquired two stepchildren, Melissa Ray and Michael Ray. He had four grandchildren,all of whom reside in Benton, Arkansas, and four nephews and two nieces.[3] His memorial service was streamlined from Memorial Funeral Home in Bryan on July 3, 2020. There is no mention of a burial location.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Adkisson, Dr. Perry Lee obituary. Bryan-College Station Eagle (June 28, 2020). Retrieved on August 3, 2020.
  2. Imogene P. Adkisson. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on August 3, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rebecca Fiedler (July 3, 2020). Services for former Texas A&M system chancellor Perry Adkisson set for Friday. The Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved on August 3, 2020.