Colorado State Soil and Crop Department Honors Alumni

Three honored alumni from Colorado State University’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Agronomy were recognized in September by the department. Awardees are Alva Finkner, Bobby Stewart and Robert Wiley.

Alva Finkner, who was raised in Akron, earned a bachelor’s in agronomy from Colorado Agricultural College in 1938. After serving with the U.S. Army for four years, Finkner received a doctorate from North Carolina State in experimental statistics in 1950. In 1959, he was employed by the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina. He was appointed director of the statistics research division in 1964, and in 1971 he was named vice president for statistics, social and economic systems and human resources. In 1977 he became senior vice president of Research Triangle Institute until his retirement in 1983. Finkner has been presented with numerous awards and recognitions throughout his 45-year career. He also contributed significantly to the development and operation of the Research Triangle Institute. He resides in Raleigh, N.C.

Bobby Stewart, raised in Erick, Okla., received the second doctorate ever awarded by the Department of Agronomy from Colorado State University in 1961. He served as director and research soil scientist for the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, USDA, Agricultural Research Service in Bushland, Texas, from 1968 to 1993. Also in 1993, Stewart founded the Dryland Agriculture Institute, where he still serves as director, and he served as a distinguished professor of soil science at West Texas A&M University.  He has actively served

in professional societies throughout his career, and he developed a training workshop on sustainable agroecosystems and environmental issues in which over 100 participants from 31 countries have attended. Stewart was the 1994 recipient of the H.H. Bennett Award, the highest award presented by the Soil and Water Conservation society, and he has authored or co-authored over 200 publications. He resides in Amarillo, Texas.

Robert Wiley, raised in Pueblo, completed his bachelor’s with honors in agronomy from Colorado A&M College in 1949. He was previously an active part of the Colorado State community serving as chair of an advisory committee for the dean of the College of Agriculture Sciences for 20 years, chair of an advisory committee for a new dairy farm and serving on the advisory board for cooperative extension for 13 years. He has received recognition by Colorado State as a life member of the Alumni Association, as a recipient of Gamma Sigma Delta’s award of merit and as a recipient of the Experiment Station award. In 1952, Wiley became owner and operator of the Larga Vista Dairy Farm near Boone until he retired in 1992. He has been recognized with more than 20 awards and honors during his career and was previously recognized as an honorary alumnus in 1983. He resides in Boone.