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February 29, 2024 5:19 pm

UMO’s Dr. Sandy Maddox receives state’s highest civilian honor

Dr. Sandy Maddox was recently awarded the state’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The award was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper and presented to Maddox by UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom during the University’s recent 20-Year Ag Banquet.

MOUNT OLIVE – Dr. Sandy Maddox was recently awarded the state’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The award was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper and presented to Maddox by UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom during the university’s recent 20-Year Ag Banquet.

Maddox has had an extensive career in agriculture spanning over four decades. At UMO, she has served as assistant professor of agricultural education, director of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center, chair for the Division of Agriculture, and as the current and founding dean for the School of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

Prior to arriving at UMO, Maddox worked at North Carolina State University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She worked in the Soil Science Department at NCSU in research; was a horticultural agent and county extension director for Cooperative Extension in Pender County; served as the superintendent of the Horticultural Crops Research Station in Sampson County and lastly served as the director of the Division of Research Stations with NCDA; retiring from state service in 2007.

Maddox has been a member of the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Advisory Board, Wayne Extension Community Association Advisory Board and Tobacco Farm Life Museum Board of Directors and participated in the Karl Best Leadership program, Leadership Wayne and much more.

While presenting Maddox with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Croom said, “Dr. Maddox has touched the lives of so many North Carolinians in such a positive way. Her work at the University of Mount Olive has been instrumental in guiding the growth and direction of the Lois G. Agribusiness Center and the School of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.”

Croom noted that Maddox’s vast network of both agricultural and non-agricultural partners in education have enabled her to secure over $6 million to provide scholarships and educational opportunities for students. “Aside from her professional contributions to agriculture, Dr. Maddox is generally an outstanding person and leader,” Croom said. “The countless hours she has donated to farmers and students are staggering. She is a master relationship builder having created bonds with so many across our state. Former students call her friend, mentor, coach, and even mom. The old North State is a better place because of the investment Sandy Maddox has made in it.”

A surprised and humbled Maddox responded, “I have been blessed to have worked in multiple capacities in the most important industry in North Carolina, agriculture. Having worked in both the public and private sector has allowed me to engage with dedicated individuals committed to the advancement of this great industry. Working with young agriculturalists at the University of Mount Olive, who will be the future of this industry, allows me to give back to those in my past upon whose shoulders I have stood. To be recognized as a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for positively impacting students and the industry of agriculture is humbling and an honor.”

— From University of Mount Olive Public Relations