EAST DUNDEE, Ill. –Turfgrass Producers International board of trustees selected Dr. John “Jack” R. Hall, III, Professor Emeritus of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Virginia Tech as the recipient of its Honorary Member award. The Honorary Member award recipient is selected by a vote of the Board of Trustees based on individuals nominated by members at large.
Hall’s career has spanned over three decades. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture in 1964, and his Master of Science degree in 1965 at the University of Illinois. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1971 from Ohio State University.
He began his agronomic career at the University of Maryland in 1971, with a research, teaching and extension appointment in turfgrass management. He provided leadership to the formation of the Maryland Turfgrass Council, conducted research in sod production, weed control and variety evaluation while teaching undergraduate turfgrass management and advising graduate students. His extension program included monthly articles in “The Agronomist,” serving as an advisor to trade associations, providing leadership to the annual Mid-Atlantic Golf Course Superintendent’s Association conference and the Maryland Sod Conference.
In 1976, he accepted an Extension position in Turfgrass Management at Virginia Tech. During his tenure he continued to support the turfgrass industry through development of the monthly educational newsletter “Tech Turf Topics” and conducted several courses and turf conferences. In 1994 he accepted an appointment as Head of the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences and continued to serve in this position until his retirement in 2001. Although he retired he continued to be active in numerous ways to serve turfgrass producers and those in the industry.
In addition to having served on several national association advisory committees, including the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America, American Sod Producers Association (now Turfgrass Producers International) and the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (now the National Association of Landscape Professionals). He was also elected secretary of the International Turfgrass Society in Tokyo, Japan in 1989 and served in that role through 1997.
He has been the recipient of many honors including numerous awards from the Virginia Turfgrass Council including the Virginia Turfgrass Council (VTC) Award, the VTC Lifetime Membership Award, the VTC R.D Cake/Silver Tray Award, and the VTC President’s Award. He also received the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Extension Excellence, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Extension Award of Merit. During his academic career he authored over 260 Extension articles and 89 research-related publications.
A TPI member since 1973, Hall has been a longtime supporter of The Lawn Institute and served on that foundation’s research committee as well as TPI’s Artificial Turf Working Group and other committees. He has given numerous presentations over the years at TPI events and has always been generous in offering his insight, support and knowledge whenever called upon to do so.
Also, TPI is honoring Dr. Grady Miller with its Turfgrass Educator Award of Excellence. Prior to arriving at N.C. State where his appointment is approximately half extension with the other half equally split between research and teaching, Miller spent 11 years with the turfgrass faculty at the University of Florida.
He has taught 65 university course sections in subjects related to turfgrass culture, golf and sports turf management, and research methodology. He is the co-author of “Managing Bermudagrass Turf” and “Design, Construction, and Management of Bermudagrass Athletic Fields.” He has published over 400 articles dealing with all phases of turfgrass management.
Miller is active with a number of state and national associations and works closely with the sod, sports turf, and golf course industry to address issues and find solutions to common turf problems. His latest collaboration is a new USDA-funded project with four other universities to study the persistence, survival and recovery of warm-season turfgrasses for sustainable urban landscapes under limited irrigation and long-term drought. This project is a team approach to developing and testing new grasses that can have lasting benefits to the turfgrass industry.
Hall and Miller will be honored Feb. 23 during TPI’s Annual Business Meeting at the TPI 2016 International Education Conference & Field Day in Houston, Texas.