West Virginia University Potomac State College Alumnus Graydon Edward Richards (Class of 1953) will be recognized this spring by the Alumni Association and the College with the inscription of his name on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Academic Achievement Wall.
Richards will be honored during the College’s annual Recognition Day Ceremony being held Sunday, April 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Church-McKee Arts Center Auditorium.
In addition to graduating from PSC, Richards also graduated from the WVU Morgantown campus and The Ohio State University where he received his Ph.D. in agronomy in 1961.
Richards was one of the first twenty individuals to be certified as a professional soil scientist and agronomist. He was later appointed to the certifying board, serving twice as chairman.
Richards served 22 years as a research and technical service agronomist with various companies, including: International Minerals and Chemical Co., Continental Oil Co., Olin Corp., Smith-Douglass Div. Bordens, Inc., and Sohio Chemical Co.
He then accepted a job as director of the Southeast Research and Extension Center at the University of Arkansas and head of the Department of Agriculture at the Monticello campus.
Richards is the author of numerous technical articles and books. He received the American Society Agronomy's Crops and Soils Award for Excellence in agricultural journalism, was listed in Who's Who in the Midwest and in American Men and Women of Science.
In 2009, he published “Cows, Classes & Co-Eds,” a depiction of his experiences centering around the WVU Potomac State College farm, his classes, and the camaraderie he shared with faculty and classmates.
Richards was previously recognized by the College with the Alumni Achievement Award in 2013.
He and his wife, Patricia Ann (Royster), reside in Marshall, Mo.