Wonderful 100: First Dean at NC State


C. B. (Charles B.) Williams, First Dean of Agriculture at NC StateIn 1917, NC State created the first dean position at the college:  dean of agriculture.  This position later headed the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  More information on the beginnings of the dean of agriculture can be found in the books Knowledge Is Power: A History of the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences and North Carolina State University: A Narrative History.

Williams Hall, named for C.B. WilliamsC. B. (Charles B.) Williams (1871-1947) was the first person to serve as dean of agriculture, and he had a long association with NC State.  In 1889 he was one of the first students at the college, and in 1893 he was a member of the first graduating class (he was the first valedictorian).  He was also the first captain of the football team.  In 1896 he earned a master's degree from the college.  He was a chemist in the Agricultural Experiment Station, head of its Department of Agronomy, then its director (1906-1912), and finally its vice director (1913-1934).  He was dean of agriculture at NC State from 1917-1924.  During his career his research focused on soybeans and fertilizers, and one of his major accomplishments was to direct the North Carolina soil survey.  Williams Hall on the NC State campus was named for him.  The NCSU Libraries holds several of his publications, and the Libraries' Special Collections Research Center holds his papers.