DALLAS — Dr. Tim Davis, resident director of research at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in Dallas, has announced the Sept. 4 dedication of the Whitehurst Education Building.
“We are pleased to honor Mr. Whitehurst for his vision and leadership in getting the facility constructed in 1972,” said Davis. Whitehurst, the first resident director for the Center under Texas A&M, will unveil a plaque with the new name at a dedication ceremony at 9:30 a.m.
“Once the land and original buildings were transferred to A&M, Mr. Whitehurst went to work to convince the administration in College Station that if we were going to have this facility in an urban setting, we needed a building with an auditorium, classrooms and labs to accommodate large audiences,” said Davis.
“Now that we’re surrounded by homes and corporate offices, it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea, but in 1972 these were open fields and Coit Road was a two-lane asphalt road going nowhere, some said. It took some convincing and Mr. Whitehurst was equal to the task. Naming the building for Mr. Whitehurst is a small recognition compared to the benefits we’ve enjoyed for more than 25 years.
“This was the first truly rural-urban agricultural research center in the state–a great gift I like to think I played a part in,” said Whitehurst. “I was privileged to see the principles of fertility management come of age. During this period, discoveries were made about proper use of fertilizers which caused a revolution in production of small grains and turfgrasses and helped preserve the North Texas blackland farming economy.”
Mr. Whitehurst was the assistant director to the chief administrator for 20 years under our predecessor, The Texas Research Foundation, and managed the transition to Texas A&M with his extraordinary leadership for another seven years until his retirement in 1979,” said Davis.
Whitehurst, 84, lives in Sunnyvale.
“Mr.Whitehurst also saw that A&M served as a resource to the forward-thinking people who planned the Dallas Arboretum right here in the Williamsburg Room at our Center,” said Davis. “His name is on the list of founding directors of the Dallas Arboretum with visionaries like Ralph Rogers, DeGolyer, Hoblitzelle, Jonsson, McDermott and Marcus.”
“I’m proud that Texas A&M served as a resource to development of the Arboretum–giving guidance so that it need not be just a flower show, but a scientific organization able to bring materials from the world over,” said Whitehurst.
The Board of Regents of the A&M System approved re-naming the Education Building in honor of Whitehurst during the facility’s recent 25th anniversary celebration. Texas A&M Regent Erle Nye of Dallas and Dr. Ed Hiler, vice chancellor for agriculture and life sciences, will participate in the dedication.