A special award, the President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service, was bestowed at the April 1 Showcase celebration banquet on R. James Cook, interim dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.

In making the presentation, WSU President V. Lane Rawlins described Cook’s career as “one of superlatives.” Rawlins cited Cook’s authorship of more than 200 scientific articles and three books, as well as his membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the USDA-ARS Hall of Fame and other scholarly associations.

Cook came to WSU in 1965 as a plant pathologist with the USDA-ARS center located at the university. In 2003, at Rawlins’ request, Cook left WSU’s endowed chair in wheat research to serve as interim dean for CAHNRS. He plans to retire this year; a search for the new CAHNRS dean is in its final stages.

The lifetime service award recognizes WSU faculty or staff who have demonstrated great personal and professional commitment to the university and community and who have had a profound influence on the direction and progress of the university throughout their career.