PERSPECTIVES Spring 2000: Carey Bostian, former chancellor, dies
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  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Carey Bostian, former chancellor, dies
Photo by Communication Services

Carey H. Bostian, who served as chancellor of N.C. State University from 1953 to 1959, died April 22. He was 93.

A former genetics professor and associate dean of the (then) School of Agriculture, Bostian was the universityís seventh chancellor, succeeding Col. John W. Harrelson.

As chancellor, he presided over a multimillion-dollar expansion, launched a faculty senate that gave professors more say in academic affairs and helped persuade then-Gov. Luther Hodges to turn 800 barren acres west of Raleigh into Research Triangle Park.

"He was one of those people who built the reputation for N.C. State for scholarship and, above all, great teaching," said Bill Friday, who became president of the University of North Carolina system during Bostianís tenure.

He was a teacher and administrator at N.C. State for 43 years, and his legacy stretches from Bostian Hall, a biological sciences building, to the carillon that chimes on the hour from the Alumni Memorial Bell Tower.

Bostian was born March 1, 1907, in Rowan County. A 1924 graduate of Salisbury High School, Bostian received a bachelor of science degree from Catawba College four years later.

He received masterís and doctoral degrees in zoology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Bostian was appointed an N.C. State assistant professor of zoology and poultry genetics in 1930. He became an associate professor in 1936 and a full professor in 1946. Two years later, he became associate dean, then chancellor in 1953.

In 1959, he returned to teaching and created three of the most popular genetics courses on campus. His introductory "Genetics in Human Affairs" course grew from 12 students to more than 700 today.

After teaching roughly 8,000 students during his career, Bostian retired in 1973. Two years later, he was among the first recipients of the Watauga Medal, the universityís highest nonacademic honor.

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