Year Inducted: 

John C. RobertsonJohn Robertson is a believer in the total student experience and implemented that idea throughout his career. As associate dean for instruction in the UK College of Agriculture, he started a career placement service and international exchange programs in China and France that continue today.

He initiated the student/faculty picnic, now in its 46th year, to provide opportunity for interaction outside the classroom. In addition to supporting undergraduates and graduates, Robertson also saw the need to continue the relationship after they graduated. The result was the creation of a UK agricultural alumni association in the early 1970s. Robertson, along with many others, was instrumental in organizing and creating what is today the National Agriculture Alumni and Development Association.

During his tenure, the college scholarship program was expanded, and in 1991, he initiated the annual scholarship banquet that allows students and donors to be recognized and interact with each other. In 1994, he established his own scholarship fund for undergraduate education.

Robertson was the first person to receive a doctorate in animal husbandry at UK, which he received in 1960. A native of Carrolton, he received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1953 and his master’s degree in animal husbandry in 1958, both from UK. From 1953 to 1955, he served in the U.S. Army.

His first position at UK was as the Purchase Area swine specialist where he was instrumental in developing new extension programs in western Kentucky and then statewide. These programs brought together emerging technologies, more efficient resource utilization and sound business practices resulting in a more profitable industry as well as an active and effective organization – Kentucky Pork Producers.

He went on to hold the positions of faculty assistant to the dean, state extension specialist in animal science and chair of agricultural programs in the UK Cooperative Extension Service. In 1968 he was named associate dean for instruction and held that position until his retirement in 1994.

Throughout his career he served on many university, national and international committees and did consulting work with several international organizations. He is also the recipient of many awards and honors.

After retirement, Robertson devoted his time and talents to assisting in the restoration of the chapel, grounds and headstones at Old Lexington Burial Ground. He is also a member of the Jamestown Society, Society of Cincinnati, Sons of the American Revolutionary War and other historical organizations. He is a member of the Lexington Club, a lifetime member of the UK Alumni Association and the Ag and HES Alumni Association, as well as a UK Fellow.