July 7, 2011

In honor of the college’s turfgrass research pioneer, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture renamed the Turfgrass Research Center at Spindletop Farm, the A.J. Powell, Jr. Turfgrass Research Center.

“Naming the turfgrass research center for Dr. A.J. Powell deservedly recognizes his substantial contributions to establishing and building the college’s turfgrass extension, research and instructional program,” said Todd Pfeiffer, chair of the UK Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “Dr. Powell is sought after in Kentucky and nationwide for his knowledge of turfgrass science and his straight-forward recommendations regarding problems encountered in turf.”

Powell joined the department in 1976 as a turfgrass extension specialist. In this position, he covered all aspects of turfgrass establishment and maintenance, specializing in turfgrass weed control. Powell worked with extension agents and managers of golf courses, sports fields and commercial lawn companies in his more than 30 years with the department. He became a professor emeritus upon his retirement in 2010.

“Dr. Powell essentially started the turfgrass research program at UK,” said David Williams, UK associate professor of turfgrass research. “We wouldn’t have the same program if it weren’t for him. His influence has extended beyond UK, as he mentored many graduate students who are now in high profile positions in the turfgrass industry.”

Powell and his family were present for the ceremony, which took place today during the Turfgrass Field Day, where officials unveiled a stone and brass sign denoting the name change at the center’s entrance on Spindletop Way.

News Topics: