Reserved for a scholar of national and international acclaim, an endowed professorship is one of the highest honors the College can bestow on a member of its faculty. These professorships play a critical role in attracting and retaining proven leaders who can drive CALS mission and high standard for excellence. Within academia, endowed professorships are a coveted and widely recognized accolade, signaling a colleague at the top of his or her field.
An endowed distinguished professorship provides supplementary salary or program support for a faculty member. It may also provide research funding or cover other expenses related to the professorship. The minimum level of support needed to establish a distinguished professorship is $500,000.
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The Neely Family Endowed Professorship honors the late C.W. "Buck" Neely and his wife, Modene. Buck moved to Gilbert, Arizona from La Pryor, Texas in 1924 and by the mid 1960's owned one of the largest cotton farms in Gilbert. In 1985, Buck obtained the Apache Maid, the largest cattle ranch in Arizona. He continued farming into the 90's until his death in 1997.
The Neely Family's investment will support young people in Arizona with outstanding agricultural education and leadership opportunities through FFA.
The CALS Agricultural Education department, led by Dr. Bobby Torres, recipient of the Neely Family endowment, works to see that high school agriculture programs prosper and continue to educate and involve youth in agriculture.