AUBURN, Ala.—The late William E. “Bill” Hardy Jr., a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Auburn University for almost 39 years, has been posthumously awarded the status of professor emeritus.
The College of Agriculture celebrated the honor in an Oct. 6 ceremony at Auburn’s Ag Heritage Park in which Hardy’s widow, Linda, was presented the official proclamation of her late husband’s emeritus title. Hardy, who taught agricultural law and finance, passed away Oct. 14, 2011.
Also during the ceremony, Roger Chappell, president and CEO of First South Farm Credit, presented two certificates to Mrs. Hardy, one recognizing the renaming of First South’s endowed scholarship in the College of Agriculture at Auburn as the William E. Hardy First South Farm Credit Endowed Scholarship and the other citing Hardy’s service on the First South Farm Credit Board of Directors.
Hardy received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1972 and in November of that year arrived at Auburn as an assistant professor in the College of Agriculture. He was promoted to associate professor in 1977 and achieved the rank of professor of agricultural economics in 1983. In 1994, he enrolled in Jones School of Law in Montgomery and three years later was awarded his doctoral degree in law. He became a member of the Alabama Bar Association in 1998.
In January 2000, he was named interim associate dean for instruction for the College of Agriculture, and in June 2001, that position became permanent. He served in that role until August 2007, when he made the decision to return to faculty full time.
Motivated by a genuine concern for and interest in his students, Hardy excelled in the classroom, and through the years, his exemplary work with students earned him numerous awards for teaching and advising excellence. He was inducted into the Alabama Agricultural Hall of Honor in 2010.