Former Chair, Professor Emeritus
PhD., 1964. Oklahoma State University
M.S., 1964. Oklahoma State University
B.S., 1956. University of Nebraska
Professor Emeritus Larry J. Connor, was born in North Platte, Nebraska on November 7, 1934. He graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska in 1956, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University in 1964. He served in the US Army as a Field Artillery officer, and was honorably discharged from the Army Reserves in 1964 with the rank of Captain.
Dr. Connor served as an agricultural economist with the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1964-66. He then became a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University, and later served as the Department Chair and Assistant Director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.
In 1991, he became Dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Florida and served until 1999 when he retired. During his tenure, enrollment in the college nearly doubled, and many innovations were initiated including distance education, teaching portfolios and peer evaluation, new majors and minors, and faculty development programs.
He was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus from Michigan State in 1991 and Dean Emeritus from the University of Florida in 1999.
Dr. Connor was active in many professional societies, including the American Agricultural Economics Association, the International Agribusiness Management Association, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, and the North American Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. He was a member of Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta, Sigma Xi, Pi Gamma Mu, Phi Beta Delta, Innocents Society (senior honorary at the University of Nebraska), and FarmHouse Fraternity. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Educator award from NACTA, the Gamma Sigma Delta Distinguished Service Award, and the Alpha Zeta Faculty Special Recognition award at Michigan State University. He authored over 160 professional publications and papers, and was the major professor for 25 graduate student-degree recipients. Two doctoral advisees received outstanding dissertation awards. Most recently, Dr. Connor was awarded the E.T. York Distinguished Service Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Agriculture and Natural Resource Industries Benefiting the People of Florida. Dr. Connor was a member of the University Lutheran Churches of both Gainesville, FL and East Lansing, MI.
He served his church in many capacities. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Dee Ann S. Connor of Gainesville, and children Noelle & Alberto Franco of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and Kevin Connor & Erika Holden of Seattle, WA; grandchildren Connor and Kelland Franco of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and Oliver Stowell and Aida Pearl Connor of Seattle, WA; sister Donna and William Brosius of Colorado Springs, CO and brother in law Dennis and Judy Stephens in Edwards, CO.