Year Inducted: 

Brady Deaton grew up on his family’s farm in Kentucky where 4-H played an important role in his early life and development. He joined 4-H at 10, and the program taught him about service to his community and established what was to become a lifelong interest in agricultural economics.

That interest grew into a passion at UK where in 1966 he earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics followed by a master’s degree in diplomacy and international commerce. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand from 1962 to 1964, where he taught vocational agriculture in the Thai language. Deaton also received master and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin.

He began his academic career as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee. During this time, he was appointed as staff director of the Special Task Force on Food for Peace for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Deaton next accepted a professorship at Virginia Tech in the Department of Agricultural Economics, where he also served as coordinator of the Rural Development Research and Extension Program, and later as associate director of the Office for International Development.

After 11 years at Virginia Tech, Deaton joined the University of Missouri faculty as professor and chair of the agricultural economics department and head of the social science unit in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. He moved up the ranks being appointed chief of staff in the chancellor’s office, then deputy chancellor, and eventually provost. Over time, Deaton’s responsibilities were expanded to incorporate Student Affairs and Business Services and his title was elevated to executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

In 2004, Deaton was selected as chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia. He distinguished himself in that role until his retirement in November 2013. That same year, the University of Missouri board of curators approved the establishment of the Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development.

During his career, Deaton served as chair of the Academic Affairs Council of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and is a recipient of the association’s Malone Award for furthering international education in public higher education. He also served a two-year term as chair of the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education and chaired the Big 12 Conference board of directors. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Deaton as chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, an advisory council to the United States Agency for International Development. He was reappointed in 2012 for a four-year term.

He also received honorary degrees from universities in India, Thailand and Korea. He was inducted into the UK Alumni Association’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2015.