in memoriam - Roy Donahue (1908-1999)
Prof. Roy Luther Donahue, soil scientist, agronomist, forester, international consultant, and textbook author, was born in Texas, on 3 November 1908.
In 1926 Donahue enrolled at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). During this time, he spent his summers working as a Forest Mapper and Control Chief for the Michigan Department of Conservation Land Economic Survey in Michigan.
After receiving his B.S. in Soil Science in 1932, he worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). In 1934-35 he was an instructor in soil science at Michigan State, and in 1935 he was appointed the founding head of the Department of Forestry at Mississippi State University; as a Research Professor of Forest Soils at that school he taught a course in forestry and initiated a forest-soils research project in the Mississippi Delta.
After two years at Mississippi State University, Donahue entered graduate school at Cornell University, majoring in agronomy (forest soils) with minors in geology, meteorology, and forestry. After receiving a Ph.D. degree in 1939 he accepted a position as associate professor of soil science in the Department of Agronomy, Texas A&M College (now University). From 1945 to 1952 Dr. Donahue was an extension agronomist for Texas A&M University, and then served as Chairman of the Department of Agronomy at the University of New Hampshire from 1952 to 56. He had extensive foreign experience, having worked in Greece, for many years in India, but also at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, and in several African countries.
In 1966, he returned to Michigan State University, where he served as a tenured Professor of Soil Science in the Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences until he retired in 1972.
Dr. Donahue was a prolific author of agricultural textbooks and reports and honorary or life member of a number of societies, among them the American Society of Agronomy, the Indian Society of Agronomy, the Indian Soil Science Society and the International Union of Soil Sciences.