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MU Professor Awarded 2008 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

April 2, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton and Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2008 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to Robert Terry Jr., professor and department chair of agricultural education in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

 Deaton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff paid a surprise visit to Terry’s classroom to honor him with the Fellowship, which includes a $10,000 award. Fellowships are awarded to five outstanding teachers at the University of Missouri each year.

 The William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence were established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift. Kemper, a 1926 MU graduate, was a well-known civic leader in Kansas City until his death in 1989. His 52-year career in banking included top positions at banks in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Commerce Bank manages the trust fund.

Please see attached biography for details about Terry.


Robert Terry, Jr., professor and department chair of agricultural education

 Robert Terry joined the MU faculty in 2002 and continues to impact students through his clear, organized and interactive way of teaching.  During his time at MU, Terry has taught a variety of agricultural education courses and served as an undergraduate student advisor and mentor for graduate students.

 “While working side by side with Dr. Terry as a graduate student, I was always impressed at his yearning to continue to perfect his trade,” said Shane Robinson, an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and former student of Terry. “I quickly learned of his sincere desire to be the best teacher he could possibly be.”

 In 2005, Terry received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and, in 2006, was named an Outstanding Agricultural Educator by the North Central Region of the American Association for Agricultural Education.  He also received the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association Outstanding Faculty Member award in 2003.

 “Dr. Terry is an outstanding teacher and human being,” a former student wrote in a class evaluation. “No matter how down I felt on a given day, Dr. Terry had a way of making everything seem brighter.”

 Erin E. Sappington, a senior agricultural education major, said that “Dr. Terry exhibits more enthusiasm and commitment to teaching than any other professor I’ve studied under at MU. His knowledge and passion for the subject matter and the success of his students is evident in class every day.”

 Terry received his bachelor’s and master’s degree at OSU and his doctorate at Texas A&M University.  He has spent time teaching at Texas A&M, California Polytechnic State University and OSU.