Robert D. Wright, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members 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 1973, Wright served as head of the Department of Horticulture from 1989 to 2000. During this time, he guided the department though major changes in its curriculum, he recruited many faculty, and fostered the development of a new departmental research emphasis in molecular biology.

He contributed significantly to the study of plant production in containers through a lifetime of research that led to the publication of many research papers, reviews, and book chapters. He helped the nursery industry though his innovative work in the nutrition of container grown nursery and greenhouse crops and sustainable container substrates. His easy-to-use method of monitoring container substrate nutrition, better known as the “Virginia Tech Pour-Through Method,” revolutionized the science of container plan production and is used by nursery growers around the world.

Wright received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.

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