Two legendary leaders of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – Dr. Arthur P. Bell and the late Dr. Howard F. Robinson – have been inducted into the college’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.
A renowned teacher and mentor, Bell, of Greensboro, influenced innumerable students toward productive careers in the agricultural sciences during his more than 40 years in education. His former students can be found today in leadership positions locally, nationally and internationally. Robinson led research divisions at the university from 1965-82. Credited with increasing the college’s annual research budget many times over, Robinson’s testimony before Congress in the 1970s was a key factor in federal officials releasing funding directly to N.C. A&T and other 1890 institutions to support their research and Cooperative Extension programs.
The induction ceremony, the first in 17 years, included the unveiling of framed photographs of both men. Bell and Robinson were lauded by CAES Interim Dean Shirley Hymon-Parker as leaders who left indelible footprints and smoothed out bumpy roads for others to travel.
“We are acknowledging the significance of these leaders on the vast audiences that they have served, most especially that of N.C. A&T State University,” Hymon-Parker said before an audience of distinguished A&T alumni, CAES retirees, students and supporters.
Joined by Hymon-Parker and Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for academic studies, the families of both inductees unveiled their portraits. Vivian Robinson said her late husband was a humble man who never considered himself important, but that he loved and worked tirelessly for A&T. Bell, who was flanked by his family, said that he was deeply honored to be inducted and that: “A life of service is a life that counts.”
The portraits will hang in B.C. Webb Hall, the CAES administrative building, along with those of the other 13 Hall of Fame members.