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K-State Today

February 26, 2015

2015 Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award

Submitted by Carolina Camacho

Congratulations to Donald Boggs, associate dean of academic programs in the College of Agriculture, as this year's receipt of the sixth biannual Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award.

The award reception was Feb. 25 in 137 Waters Hall. The event was co-sponsored by the College of Agriculture, Diversity Programs Office, K-State Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences chapter and Frontier Farm Credit Services.

The event also served as our celebration for the National Society of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences 30th anniversary and the K-State chapter's 12th year of success.

Kidd was born Feb. 21, 1924, in Kansas City, Missouri. He completed his secondary education in 1941, after which he served in the U.S. Army in World War II until 1945. Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Kidd enrolled in Kansas State University where he majored in entomology and parasitology. Kidd was the first black graduate in entomology at Kansas State University.

At Kansas State, he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Before and after graduating from K-State in 1950, Kidd was always willing to do what was needed to help minority students on campus. According to Veryl Switzer, Wallace co-signed the loan used to secure a house for the Kansas State University chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. This was a tremendous achievement for African-American students in 1969. That house operated for 17 years and 98 African-American men lived and graduated from that house. Kidd was a tremendous support base during a time when there were not many minority faculty on campus.

As Kidd was building his pest control business into the pillar of the community and region that it is today, he found the time and energy to be the first African-American to be elected as a commissioner of Riley County. He served as PTO president at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, on the board of firectors of the Boy Scouts of America, and as a member of the Manhattan Kiwanis, Manhattan Toastmasters, Kaw Blue Lodge No. 107, board of directors of the Riley County Senior Citizens Program. Kidd remained active in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc and was a lifetime member.

To commemorate Kidd's commitment to education, the Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award was established by the K-State Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences chapter in 2005. We would like to thank the Kidd family and the Manhattan NAACP for sharing this wonderful story with us and their continued support of our chapter.

If you would like to learn more about K-State Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences or the Wallace Kidd Memorial Diversity Award, come by the Diversity Programs Office, or contact zwiley@k-state.edu or 785-532-5793. 

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