Perspectives Online

Ada Dalla-Pozza, North Carolina home economics legend, inducted into
4-H Hall of Fame

A Cary woman known for decades of service as a North Carolina home economist is a member of the first class of the North Carolina 4-H Hall of Fame. Ada Braswell Dalla-Pozza, who won the 1937 4-H Dress Revue at state and national levels, has been active in North Carolina Cooperative Extension for more than 70 years.

Dalla-Pozza was born in Anson County and now resides in Cary. After graduating from Woman's College in Greensboro (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1943, she became the youngest Cooperative Extension agent in the state.

In an Extension career that spanned nearly five decades, Dalla-Pozza served as assistant state home economics leader and provided leadership to the North Carolina Extension Homemakers' Organization (now North Carolina Extension and Community Association). She also started the organization's internship program and led efforts to preserve and send food to soldiers overseas.

"Above all, she was an accessible and knowledgeable home economist, always eager to serve the people of North Carolina," said Sharon Runion Rowland, executive director of development for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Foundation and one of the interns that Dalla-Pozza taught in the 1970s. "She specialized in clothing design and often worked with families to teach them how to design clothes without using patterns."

To become the state's 4-H Dress Revue champ in 1937, Dalla-Pozza designed and constructed a red plaid floor-length formal dress with matching red bolero jacket. But that's not all. She also made her own undergarments and pocketbook for the competition.

The North Carolina 4-H program is celebrating its 100th year in 2009, and Dalla-Pozza was one of 100 members inducted into the first 4-H Hall of Fame class. She was nominated for the Hall of Fame by Rowland.

"Mrs. Ada has had a positive impact upon thousands of North Carolina families and youth," Rowland said. "Her support of programs in Family and Consumer Sciences has transcended time; the leadership of the Extension and Community Association still turn to her for guidance today."

The North Carolina 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 241,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 23,000 adult and youth volunteers.

-- Suzanne Stanard