Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Clarence Cunningham

Congratulations to Dr. Clarence J. Cunningham (B.S. 1953, M.S. 1958, Ph.D 1964, agricultural education), who is being inducted into the 2015 National 4-H Hall of Fame.
An enshrinement ceremony is planned for October 9 at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Md., for Cunningham, an Ohio 4-H Foundation board member.
Cunningham, of Hilliard, Ohio, taught as a professor for The Ohio State University ag college and for Ohio State Extension from 1957 to 1988. Upon his retirement as associate director of Extension, he has been a professor emeritus and served as a longtime volunteer for 4-H and the Ohio 4-H Foundation.
“I am honored that someone would think that I should even be nominated, then to be selected, I am excited,” he said recently. “It is another step that demonstrates that the state of Ohio and The Ohio State University have a lot of leadership that becomes evident in many ways.”
“I grew up in a very small rural school, and 4-H was a very significant part of getting me started, and getting me talking in front of groups. I have been pleased to help pay forward.”
Cunningham worked on the steering committee to raise $16.5 million to fund construction of the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. He established an endowment that creates scholarships and 4-H leadership awards.
“I spent a lot of time teaching non-credit and academic programs to the 4-H professionals. I think that has been a significant thing that I had the opportunity to influence the lives of many of our 4-H leaders not only in Ohio but across the country,” he said. “The pleasure of continuing to see the growth of people I have taught has been very satisfying to me.”
Feel free to celebrate Dr. Cunningham's induction with a gift to 4-H.