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Dr. Sherlie West/York Institute Scholarship

In 1998, Sherlie West established a scholarship fund at Union Bank in Jamestown. The scholarship was later transferred to the Tennessee Tech University Foundation.

Dr. West was born February 18, 1927 in Forbus, Tennessee. He excelled in school and was the valedictorian of his class at York Institute.  He earned his undergraduate degree in 1949 from Tennessee Tech University in agricultural science.  He then went on to complete a master's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1954 in agronomy and botany and a PhD in 1958 from the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana in agronomy and biochemistry. 

Dr. West served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950-1952.  He married his wife Leeta in 1949 while they were completing their education.  They were devoted to each other and were married for 62 years.  He and Leeta moved to Gainesville in 1958 where he was hired as a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciencees IFAS program. He was a professor and plant physiologist in the Agronomy department for 40 years until his retirement in 1998.  He served as an Assistant Dean and Director and as Acting Dean and Director for the Florida Experiment Station from 1972-1979.  In 1979, he became the first Director of the New University of Florida Seed Laboratory which h successfully requested.  From 1979-1983, he was the professor and director of the Agronomy Seed Laboratory.  He was the liason person for the Director of the Florida Experiment Station as well as location coordinator for the United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service. 

He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of American, and was elected Division Chairman of the Crop Science Society of America.  He was the recipient of the Crop Science Seed Award in 1994.  He authored and published over 300 professional journals and was invited to speak or conduct over 100 lectures, seminars, or symposiums.  He was a pioneer in his research of seeds, often discovering new approaches to solving old problems.  He traveled throughout the world evaluating and promoting seed technology.  He loved his work so much he would go into the office even after retirement.  He was especially proud of his numerous graduate students whom he taught and mentored.

Dr. West was a member of Rotary Club and Trinity United Methodist Church.  He was an avid Gator fan and had many talents and interests.  He obtained his pilot's license and loved to fly.  He also loved to tinker on old cars, invest in real estate, and farm.  He was always adventurous and loved a good joke.  His most favorite place was the homestead in Tennessee.  He made frequent trips there and it was the place he felt most at home.  He raised cattle, planted a tree nursery, and enjoyed visiting with family.  Dr. West cherished his many friends and enjoyed their sense of humor. 

Dr. West passed away on January 23, 2011.
Scholarships associated with Dr. Sherlie West/York Institute Scholarship
  • Dr. Sherlie West/York Institute Scholarship