Endowment in food science honors Nancy Webb
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Endowment in food science honors Nancy Webb

Dr. Neil Webb and his daughter Natalie sign the endowment agreement. With them are Dr. Ken Swartzel, head of the Food Science Department, and Dr. Steve Leath, interim director of the N.C. Agricultural Research Service. (Photo by Becky Kirkland)

Ornate letter "A"
Dec. 30 ceremony in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences marked the establishment of a scholarship endowment created to honor the late Nancy Sims Webb.

“The Department of Food Science has benefited greatly over the years due to the association and help provided by both Dr. Neil and Mrs. Nancy Webb,” said Dr. Ken Swartzel, Food Science Department head. “This endowment will aid student education in nutrition, product development and sensory testing — all Nancy Webb’s areas of interest and strength. We are delighted to honor her memory in this very special way.”

Nancy Webb, who died in 1998, was a food sensory analysis expert.

While her husband, Dr. Neil Webb, now food science professor emeritus, was a faculty member in the College, she advised him in establishing an initial sensory profile panel. Such panels are critical to the objective measurement and evaluation of a food product’s characteristics perceivable by the senses.

A West Virginia native, Nancy Webb earned a B.S in home economics at West Virginia University. She interned as a dietitian at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and completed an M.S. in foods and nutrition at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she also worked as a research assistant.

Later, she was head therapeutic dietitian at Monmouth Memorial Hospital, Long Branch, N.J., taught foods and nutrition at the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana and conducted foods and nutrition research at Michigan State University for several years.

For more than 25 years, she partnered with her husband in Webb Technical Group, their private Raleigh-based food research and development and analytical testing company. She served as company president from 1987 to 1997.

The Food Science Department’s scholarship committee will select student recipients of the endowment’s renewable academic-year awards. Recipients must be studying nutrition and/or have a demonstrated interest in product development and sensory testing.

The endowment will be funded by contributions from Dr. Webb, his colleagues, family and friends, collected by the Food Science Department or sent directly to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation Inc.

—Art Latham

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