AMERICAN FARM SCHOOL
BRUCE LANSDALE MEMORIAL
On February 1, 1990 Bruce Lansdale was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Agriculture by the Faculty of Agriculture of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. This part of the Bruce Lansdale Memorial is the Introduction by Professor Lucas Ananikas, Chairman of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Assistant Dean of the School of Agriculture. It is followed in Part VIII by The Power of Myth in Rural Development presented by Bruce M. Lansdale
THE POWER OF MYTH IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Bruce M. Lansdale
PRESENTED ON THE OCCASION
OF HIS BEING AWARDED
AN HONORARY DEGREE
DOCTOR OF AGRICULTURE
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE
February 1, 1990
Of the department of the School of Agricultural Sciences of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
BRUCE M. LANSDALE
A National of the United States of North America during his Presidency at the
American Farm School of Thessaloniki
Has been a successful servant of Agricultural Science through research and teaching
THE DECISION WAS TAKEN
By the Department of the distinguished School of the Agricultural Sciences of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki at its meeting on the First Day of the Month of February of the Year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Ninety
BRUCE M. LANSDALE
Good Teacher and Distinguished Servant
Of the Science of Agriculture
And Bestow unto him all the privileges pertaining to this office
At Thessaloniki the First Day of the Month of February of the Year
Nineteen Hundred and Ninety
The President The Secretary
Thomas A. Alifakiotis Asimina G. Bellou
BY THE GRACE OF GOD
UNDER THE PROTECTIVE SHELTER
OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
Under the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Rectorship of
ANTONIOS CHRISTOS TRAKATELLIS
Professor of Agriculture
Currently at the Department of Agriculture of the School of Agricultural Sciences
BRUCE M. LANSDALE
Coming Forth from the United States of North America
Good teacher and Distinguished Servant of the Sciences of Agriculture
As a Tribute to him for all he contributed to this service
By unanimous decision of the Department of Agriculture of the
School of Agricultural Sciences among its Honorary Doctors
In the Year Ninety and Nine Hundred and One Thousand
First of the Month of February
The Rector The President
Antonios C. Trakatellis Thomas A. Alifakiotis
INTRODUCTION BY PROFESSOR LUCAS ANANIKAS
CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
ASSISTANT DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE
I want to express my deep gratitude to the Department of Agriculture of the School of Agricultural Sciences for the honor they have bestowed upon me to allow me to introduce to you Mr. Bruce M. Lansdale, Director of the American Farm School, with whom I have the good fortune of working over a period of many years. I and those of my colleagues who applied to the Department of Agriculture asking for this distinction to be conferred upon Mr. Lansdale, had in mind his long and continuous contribution to the development of agricultural education in Greece, to the distribution and application of agricultural improvements and to the application of community development programs; his continuous effort and activity in the area of preserving the customs and traditions of rural Greece; his multifaceted social activities; but also his contribution to the National Sector through his spreading the Greek ideas and philosophy internationally, all accomplished during his forty years as Director of the American Farm School in Thessaloniki.
Mr. Bruce Lansdale was born in 1925 in the state of Massachusetts in the United States. He completed his grammar school studies in Greece and his high school in the U.S. In 1945 he received his B.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Rochester. He returned to Greece in 1946 at the age of 21 and worked there as Assistant Director on a volunteer basis. In 1948 he enrolled in the School of Agriculture of Cornell University. In 1949 he was granted a M.S. degree from the same university, in the field of Agricultural Social Studies and Agricultural Education. In 1949 he married Elizabeth Krihak, also a University of Rochester graduate. They have four children.
In 1949 he returned to the American Farm School in Thessaloniki and became the first Fulbright Program Professor in Greece. In 1952 he became Associate Director of the School, and in 1955 he took over as Director of the School until 1990.
Since 1951 he has been busy with educational and research projects in the area of Agricultural Education and Community Development for rural population. As a result, the Greek Ministry of Agriculture launched its Rural Applications Program at the A.F.S. facilities, while many agriculturalists specializing in rural applications were encouraged to study further in the United States.
Very early on in his career, in 1957, Bruce Lansdale organized a special community development program for 165 rural Greek communities, with the objective that local government should undertake development initiative, and create a pool of locals to work in development. His work toward the introduction and utilization of modern technology in Greek agriculture is also considered important. He contributed to the meat production industry with improved breeds of chickens (1958), with importing the first spindle-type cotton picker (1959), importing frozen bull semen, and through the embryo transplant program (1985).
The Greek government, in recognition of his contribution to the development of Greek agriculture awarded him the medal of Officer, Royal Order of King George I, (1963) and the medal of Commander of the Order of Honor (1986), considered to be the highest decoration awarded to private foreign citizens who live and work in Greece. He has also received a great number of scholarships, awards and distinctions both from Greece and the U.S. He has been granted scholarships by the Fulbright, Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and he has been a member of the boards of directors of several philanthropic societies in Greece.
During his years at he American Farm School, more than 1500 boys and girls from all parts of Greece have graduated from the school’s vocational agricultural lyceum. Many of them have been sent to the U.S. under scholarship to further their education, to participate in exchange programs, to attend seminars, and to obtain degrees in agriculture. There are more than 2,500 people in the U.S. today who have helped the AFS financially, offering scholarships for the Greek boys and girls from various villages around the country.
Bruce Lansdale became known as a fine philhellene not only through his contribution to the School, but mainly because of his unselfish love for Greece and the Greeks. The educational climate that developed at the School is not simply one that educates the students and thoroughly prepares the youngsters for a career in agriculture, but it creates responsible individuals, wholesome human beings with deep faith in their Greek identity and Greek orthodox tradition. In his frequent visits to America, Asia, Europe and Africa, he spreads the Greek idea and philosophy and contributes to the development of contacts between our country and countries from these regions.
As a result of these contacts, special seminars have been organized at the AFS since 1987 on agricultural education and rural development for agricultural extension agents and educators from Africa and Asia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What you have heard, and much more I do not have time to cover, give you an idea of Mr. Bruce Lansdale’s multifaceted personality. For this reason, it has been an especially pleasant duty and great honor to present to you, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Bruce Lansdale.