Dr Kenneth Cox
The 1991 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Kenneth Cox.
Dr. Kenneth Cox followed a very distinguished career in the Maritime agricultural industry. His early training was at the NSAC where he graduated with the Class of 1921. He continued his studies at the Ontario Agricultural College graduating in 1924 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. His undergraduate studies were in animal husbandry and he demonstrated a skill in livestock judging by competing on a team that won the Canadian competition in Toronto and placed second in competition at the Chicago International Fair. Dr. Cox individually placed fifth in a class of 110 competitors.
He next demonstrated his versatility by completing a graduate study program in agronomy and obtaining an M.Sc. degree from Macdonald College in 1929.
He followed his career in the field of Agronomy with a position as Assistant to the Superintendent at the Dominion Experimental Farm at Nappan and conducted research on cereals, forages, root crops and fertility. He was involved in basic research studies on club root resistance by the Chignecto Swede turnip and the role of boron in the control of brown heart disease in turnips.
In 1937, Dr. Cox accepted an appointment as Provincial Agronomist and Professor of Agronomy at NSAC . In 1941 he was in addition appointed as Vice-Principal of the College and Farm Director. He became Acting Principal in 1946 and was appointed sixth Principal in 1948, a position he held until his retirement in 1964.
He came to the Principal's position at a very challenging time, with the science building being completely destroyed by fire in1946. The College facilities were temporarily relocated to military camp facilities at Debert. At the same time, alarge influx of mature students was experienced as the end of the Second World War resulted in a number of ex-military personnel pursuing higher education. Many NSAC legends were created at the time of the "Debert Interlude" and Dr. Cox's administrative abilities were challenged at this time.
In 1953 the College moved back to the Truro campus with the completion of a new science building. A growth phase which brought the institution to its present day complement of facilities was started with the construction of the first residence building 1957.
Dr. Cox was always well respected in the professional agricultural community. He was a member of the Canadian Society of Technical Agriculturalists (forerunner of the present AIC) and served as president of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists. He was President of the Board of the Canadian Seed Growers Association. He was an Honourary member of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and an Honorary member of the Senate Club of that organization.
In 1964, Dr. Cox's contribution to agricultural education was recognized when McGill University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Law. In 1968 the Cox Institute of technology on the NSAC campus was named in his Honor.
Dr. Cox is fondly remembered by the many students who studied at the NSAC during his tenure as Principal. He had a clear vision of the role of the College, which he pursued with vigour. He had a keen appreciation of the needs of the agricultural industry. He was firm but fair in his dealings with students. He was widely respected by all who knew him. He is highly deserving of the recognition that would be bestowed by the granting of a Distinguished Alumnus Award.