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LSU awards two endowed professorships

The LSU AgCenter has named Dearl Sanders, a veteran weed scientist, and Diane Burts, an ecologist, to newly endowed professorships at Louisiana State University.

Sanders was named the Floyd S. Edmiston Sr. Professor in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, and Burts was named the Grace Drews Lehmann Professor in Human Ecology.

Both professorships were endowed by contributions from Evelyn Edmiston Howell of Houston, Texas, with matching funds from the Louisiana Board of Regents' Support Fund.

Howell designated Sanders' professorship in memory of her father, Floyd S. Edmiston Sr., a long-time county agent for the LSU AgCenter's Extension Service.

Sanders, who served a number of years as Extension weed scientist on the Baton Rouge campus, currently is resident coordinator of the LSU AgCenter's Idlewild Research Station in Clinton, La. His work involves non-crop and aquatic weed control, invasive plant surveys and control, and forage and forestry weed control.

Howell gave Burts' professorship in memory of Grace Drews Lehmann, who was Howell's classmate in home economics at LSU. Lehmann earned her LSU degree while confined to an iron lung and was an inspiration to Howell and her husband.

Burts is professor and division head of Family, Child and Consumer Sciences in the LSU AgCenter's School of Human Ecology. She and her colleagues have produced the largest body of research in the area of developmentally appropriate practice — one of the major issues in the field of early childhood education.

Howell's husband, Paul N. Howell, acquired a small oil refinery in San Antonio, Texas, in 1955. This formed the basis of what became Howell Corp., with headquarters in Houston. Paul Howell died in August 2001 in Houston after a lengthy illness.

A native of Baton Rouge, Evelyn Howell once lived at the gates of LSU on State Street, and as a young girl, attended 4-H camp at the LSU AgCenter's Grant Walker Educational Center in Pollock. She graduated from the LSU Lab School in 1943 and enrolled in LSU, where she graduated with a degree in home economics in 1947.

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