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College of Agriculture

Wallace Kidd Award

The purpose of this biennial award is to recognize outstanding diversity accomplishments of faculty, staff and students at Kansas State University. Recipients have demonstrated a commitment to diversity on the University campus or in the community through mentoring, outreach initiatives and other activities which advance the institution’s goal of inclusion. This award was established in memory of Wallace Ray Kidd. Kidd was a family man and community leader. He set an example for everyone, students, adults, faculty, community, black and white. This Award is truly a fitting commemoration of his legacy and commitment.

Wallace Ray Kidd was born February 21, 1924 in Kansas City, Missouri to Prentis Kidd, Sr and Clara Ray Owens. He completed his secondary education in 1941, after which he served in the US Army in World War II until 1945. His first marriage was to the late Bertha Colleen Ford. From this union came five children: Quinton Ray, Meredith Edward, Sr, Gevin Collace, Lezlie Storm and Rosalyn K. In 1997, he married Mary Louise Caudle. They remained married until his home going on October 25, 2004.

Following his honorable discharge from the US Army, Mr. Kidd enrolled in Kansas State University where he majored in entomology and parasitology. Mr. Kidd was the first black graduate in Entomology at Kansas State University. At Kansas State, he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Before and after graduating from Kansas State in 1950, Mr. Kidd was always willing to do what was needed to help minority students on campus. According to Veryl Switzer, Wallace co-signed the loan used to secure a house for the Kansas State University chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. This was a tremendous achievement for African-American students in 1969. That house operated for 17 years and 98 African-American men lived and graduated from that house. Wallace Kidd was a tremendous support base during a time when there were not many minority faculty on campus.

As Mr. Kidd was building his pest control business into the pillar of the community and region that it is today, he found the time and energy to be the first African-American to be elected as a Commissioner of Riley County. He served as PTO President at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America, and as a member of the Manhattan Kiwanis, Manhattan Toastmasters, Kaw Blue Lodge #107, Board of Directors of the Riley County Senior Citizens Program. Mr. Kidd remained active in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc and was a Lifetime Member. To commemorate Mr. Kidd’s commitment to education, the Wallace Kidd Family Scholarship was established in 2000.

Past Recipients

2017Dr. John FlorosDean of the College of Agriculture, Director of K-State Research and Extension
2015Dr. Don Boggs

Associate Dean for Academic Programs Office College of Agriculture

2013Larry Moeder

Assistant vice president for student life Director of Student financial assistance Director of Admissions

2011Steven GrahamAssistant to the Dean & Director for K-State College of Agriculture and Research and Extension
2009Dr. Reggie McGowan (posthumously)Director of K-State's Office for Educational Opportunity Programs
2007Steve LevinK-State Union Bookstore Manager
2005Dr. Miles McKeeAnimal Science & Industry Professor

2017 Recipient

Meet 2017 Wallace Kidd Recipient

Dr. John Floros

Dean

Renowned food scientist and academic leader John Floros became dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension in August 2012. Since then, he has led the development of a College of Agriculture strategic plan for Vision 2025, guided the college to record undergraduate and graduate student enrollments, and steered K-State Research and Extension to record extramural funding and research expenditures.

Under his leadership, K-State established the first industry/university cooperative crop-related National Science Foundation center, which focuses on wheat genetic resources. The college also attained three new Feed the Future innovation labs from the U.S. Agency for International Development on wheat genomics, sorghum and millet, and post-harvest loss reduction.

Among the many advancements Dean Floros has spearheaded, he has made significant contributions to the enhancement, support and/or furtherance of diversity within the College of Agriculture, on the campus and in the K-State community. 

The Diversity Programs Office would like to thank Dean Floros for continuously advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion of underrepresented groups at Kansas State University.