Wayne D. Purcell, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title "Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board’s quarterly meeting March 27.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1978, Purcell is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in prices, price discovery, and price risk management with more than 500 major presentations to national and internal audiences. He published or edited as sole or co-author 14 books, including three major texts books, 35 refereed journal articles, five invited articles in international encyclopedias, more than 50 peer –reviewed papers and publications, and more than 300 added paper and articles.

Purcell organized, secured funding for, and directed the Research Institute on Livestock Pricing from 1986 to 2005. The institute has become a primary source of research information on important public policy issues such as the impact of Congressional regulation on the marketplace with written materials and national conferences.

A highly successful teacher, Purcell was twice selected recipient of the American Agricultural Economics Association outstanding teaching award and received the Outstanding Faculty in Virginia Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. He was also named Man of the Year in Virginia Agriculture in 2002.

Purcell holds the rank of Alumni Distinguished Professor which is bestowed by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, with the support of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, to recognize faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the instructional program of the university over time and who have touched the lives of generations of Virginia Tech alumni. He is the only member of the College of Agriculture and Life Science ever to be recognized with this honor.

Purcell received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Ranked 11th in agricultural research expenditures by the National Science Foundation, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading agricultural scientists. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives students a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. The college is a national leader in incorporating technology, biotechnology, computer applications, and other recent scientific advances into its teaching program.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.