William J. “Bill” Alverson, Jr.
Anyone passing through the College of Ag in the last 32 years, whether it be a potential student on a school tour, a current student searching for a summer internship or a senior going through a last semester graduation check, has come in contact with William (Bill) Alverson. He is as much of a timehonored Auburn tradition as rolling Toomer’s Corner or speaking to strangers on Hey Day.
Alverson’s career in agriculture began early. Raised on a farm in Albertville, his job was collecting eggs from the family’s chicken houses every day. He also showed beef and dairy cattle with 4-H. After graduation in 1962 from Albertville High School, Alverson attended Snead State Community College where he met and soon began to date his beloved Snooky. The two were married in 1965 during Alverson’s senior year at Auburn University.
He completed his bachelor’s degree in agricultural science and a master’s degree in adult education at Auburn. While completing his graduate degree, he worked with the Lee County Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) as an Extension farm agent and with the county’s 4-H program. After receiving his master’s degree in 1971, Alverson took a job with the Dekalb County ACES as an Extension farm agent.
But he missed Auburn. In 1974, when he was offered a position as the assistant to the dean of the College of Ag, Alverson jumped at the chance to move back. In 1983, his official title was changed to assistant dean.
Instrumental in the success of the College of Agriculture, Dean Alverson started many programs including Ag Day, Ag Career Days, Ag Hill Picnic, Ag Ambassadors, Ag Alumni Association, Ag Roundup and the Ag Hall of Honor. Additionally, he has served as the faculty advisor for the ag communication majors, as the advisor for Ag Council and as a judge in many National FFA competitions.
Alverson served as secretary-treasurer and ex officio member of the Ag Alumni Association. For his commitment to this organization, Alverson received the National Ag Alumni and Development Association Distinguished Service Award in 1993. In 2000, the Auburn Ag Alumni Association honored his many years of service to the students in the College of Ag by establishing a scholarship in his name, the Ag Alumni Bill Alverson Scholarship.
He also received the Honorary American Degree from the National FFA in 1994, the organization’s highest honor. In 2005, Alverson was the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan National Award for humanitarian leadership and constant helpfulness to others.
Bill and Snooky Alverson have two children, Jay and Amy. After Alverson’s retirement in September of 2006, the couple intend to travel and fish. And their grandchildren – Peyton, Forrest and Carson – are looking forward to spending more time with “Big Daddy.”