College of Agriculture and Life Sciences presents Wayne Purcell with Hall of Fame Award

Wayne Purcell, alumni distinguished professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics (center), received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame award from Kevin Boyle, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (left) and Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Wayne Purcell, alumni distinguished professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics (center), received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame award from Kevin Boyle, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (left) and Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 20, 2008 – Wayne Purcell of Riner, Va., was inducted into Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame, which honors those individuals who exemplify career accomplishment and for their service to the college and university.

Purcell, an alumni distinguished professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics, is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in prices, price discovery, and price risk management. He has given more than 500 major presentations to national and international audiences during his 27-year career at Virginia Tech.

“Wayne Purcell exemplifies the university’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, and Extension through his devotion to educating students, government personnel, farmers, and others on how to effectively utilize economic methods to improve their decision-making,” said James Pease, professor of agricultural and applied economics.

Purcell founded the Research Institute on Livestock Pricing in 1986. It was a multi-university research institute that conducted and coordinated applied research in livestock and meat pricing, industry structure, public policy, and market regulations. It became a primary United States source of research information on important public policy issues such as the impacts of congressional regulation on the marketplace.

Another of Purcell’s major achievements was his contribution to the Rural Prosperity Commission formed in 2002 by the Virginia General Assembly to report on the conditions and prospects for rural Virginia. The analysis, which led to General Assembly’s establishment of the Rural Prosperity Commission and the subsequent establishment of the Center for Rural Virginia, was completed by the Rural Economic Analysis Program (REAP) in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, a program Purcell helped organize in 1986.

Purcell taught five different courses with more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students and served as the committee chair for 31 graduate students. He has authored five books and edited nine books on marketing, pricing, demand, concentrated markets, captive supplies, and other issues in livestock and meats. He also has published two textbooks. He has written 33 refereed journal articles, 14 book chapters, 42 peer-reviewed research bulletins, 59 articles in proceedings, 60 numbered Extension publications, and more than 80 popular press articles.

In recognition of his achievements, he has been the recipient of 19 major awards, including Alumni Distinguished Professor, the Virginia Council of Higher Education Award for Outstanding Faculty, the Panhellenic Teacher of Excellence Award, the Virginia Tech Sporn Award, and numerous other regional and national teaching awards.

Purcell who is originally from Patrick County, Va. graduated from Virginia Tech in 1962 with a bachelor of science in marketing, and in 1963 with a master of science in agricultural economics. In 1967, he earned a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Michigan State University.