1st Virginian To Be Inducted Into George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 16, 2016

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu

First Virginian To Be Inducted Into Nationally Renowned George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame

Dr. Clinton V. Turner, an alumnus and former Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Extension at Virginia State University College of Agriculture, has been nationally recognized for his public service and contributions to rural and disadvantaged communities. He received the accolades when he was inducted into the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame on December 6. The honor is given in recognition of individuals, like Turner, whose work mirrors the philosophy of the world-recognized scholar, George Washington Carver, and who have made significant accomplishments in the areas of teaching, research and outreach designed to improve the quality of life for the clientele served by 1890 land-grant universities such as Virginia State University (VSU). The award ceremony is part of the annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC) in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Turner is the first recipient of the prestigious award from Virginia State University and the first in Virginia. The award was established in 1984.

Turner, now retired, said, “To receive an award that carries the name of such a distinguished man as George Washington Carver, who dedicated his life to the welfare of the people, is more than humbling.”

M. Ray McKinnie, Dean of the VSU’s College of Agriculture, explained, “This is a double honor for Virginia State University.  Dr. Turner is not only a VSU Trojan, but he returned to his alma mater after graduation in a number of leadership positions to help the university fulfill its land-grant mission.”

“We are proud and grateful,” continued McKinnie, “that Dr. Turner’s strong ties and dedication to VSU and the 1890 land-grant mission over his lifetime have been recognized by an organization as revered as PAWC.”

Turner began his career in 1976 as an extension specialist. In 1980 he became the first black district director for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, where he represented both Virginia Tech and VSU in working with local governments, state agencies, regional community groups and other public and private organizations to fulfill the extension mission.

In 1984 Turner became VSU’s Administrator of Cooperative Extension and was promoted in 1988 to Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Extension. In 1991 Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder appointed Turner as Virginia’s and the nation’s first black Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where he served as chief spokesperson for agriculture within the commonwealth.

Turner has served as chairperson for many state and national committees that made policy for the agricultural industry and has received many awards and recognitions for his service to the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

The 1890 land-grant universities are a network of 19 historically black colleges and universities, including VSU, dedicated to providing educational opportunity for all through innovative scientific research and community-minded extension programs. They provide teaching programs, address health disparities, conduct cutting-edge research to generate solutions to global challenges, engage young people through 4-H, provide assistance for agricultural enterprises for small and limited resource operations, and more to improve the quality of life for all.


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