December 31, 2016, brought the retirement of College of Agriculture professors Curtis Jolly and Diane Hite, both from the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, and on May 31, horticulture professor and Toomer’s Oaks spokesman Gary Keever will follow suit.
Jolly, who had served on the faculty for 36 years, specialized in the economics of aquaculture, economic development and international trade. He served as department chair from 2005 to 2013, as an Auburn Alumni Professor from 2009 to 2014 and as the Charles W. Barkley Endowed Professor for Multicultural Diversity at Auburn University from 2010 to 2015.
Hite joined the department in 2002 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor the following year and full professor in 2008. Her expertise was in environmental and natural resource economics, real estate, applied econometrics and applied policy and welfare analysis.
Keever, the Thomas H. Dodd Jr. Endowed Professor in Horticulture, joined Auburn’s Department of Horticulture in January 1982 and launched what would become an award-winning research program focused on nursery and greenhouse crops and a teaching career in landscape design. Since February 2011, he also has been the university’s official spokesman on issues regarding the Toomer’s oaks and Auburn Oaks.