James (Jim) Cronin

Chester Black

Hall of Fame Class of 1996

Chester Black's 40-year career began as an Assistant County Agent with the Missouri Cooperative Extension Service. After a sabbatical leave at North Carolina State University (NCSU), he joined NCSU as a member of the state's Agricultural Extension Service. He joined the faculty of the Adult and Community College Education Department and initiated the first graduate courses designed to upgrade the skills of Extension Agents with youth development responsibilities.

He became Associate Director of the North Carolina Extension Service in 1978 and Associate Dean and Director in 1983. While he served as a member of the National Extension Computer Advisory Committee, North Carolina became one of the first states to implement a system that connected all counties and the specialist staff together via computers.

He served as Chair of the Southern Region Rural Development Center Board of Directors and as Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair of Southern Extension Directors in 13 states. Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Extension Service National Fraternity, has honored him three times, the most recent being with its prestigious Ruby Award. Following retirement, he has continued his contribution to adult and continuing education by designing and teaching a graduate course in "Program Management for 4-H Extension Agents" in North Carolina.