Monday, November 5, 2007 - 10:50 AM

Marion Jacob Funchess, ASA President 1929.

Charles Mitchell, Auburn University, Dept. of Agronomy & Soils, 201 Funchess Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5412

Marion Jacob Funchess was the twenty-second President of ASA and one of the first from the Deep South. A native of South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson College (now Clemson University) and the University of Wisconsin, Funchess came to work at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) as an Assistant Professor of Agriculture in 1909. He was named “Professor of Agronomy” in 1915 and served as head of the department from 1920 until 1934. During his tenure, the name was changed to Department of Agronomy and Soils. Funchess formed the foundation of the College of Agriculture at Auburn University and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) having served as Dean of the College and Director of the AAES for 26 years, 1924-1950. He was elected President of American Society of Agronomy in 1929. His teaching in soil fertility and his stress on getting the right information led to the nickname of “Facts Funchess”. With his decisive personality, he was a strong agricultural leader grounded in the traditional view of agricultural investigation. In 1961, the largest classroom and laboratory building built on the Auburn University campus at that time was named in his honor. Today, Funchess Hall is the home to the departments of Agronomy and Soils and Horticulture and has classrooms and offices for 3 other departments.