Oral history; interview with Dr. Vance Watson, conducted December 7, 2011, at Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University. Watson, a Missouri native, first came to Mississippi State in 1966 as an Assistant Professor of Agronomy. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University, a Master's from the University of Missouri, and a PhD from Mississippi State. A tenured faculty member, he held many high offices at MSU. Watson served as MSU's Vice President for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine; Director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station; and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He also served as Director of the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service, and in 2008, he served as interim President of MSU. His honors include being named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. Watson has authored more than 300 publications and participated in many service activities during his 42-year career. He retired in 2008. The remodeled Lloyd-Ricks Building was rededicated and renamed the Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Building in the fall of 2010. In this interview, Watson discusses the Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Building, its renaming, its history, and the people who made it a special place to be.
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