Murphy, Royse

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Royse P. Murphy was a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Plant Breeding at Cornell University. He served as a Department Head, Dean of the University Faculty (1964-67) and as a faculty member serving on the Board of Trustees. His main focus was plant breeding, releasing many new crop varieties.


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    Royse P. Murphy: A Celebration of Life
    (Internet-First University Press, 2013-10-28)
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    Murph’s Party: Royse P. Murphy’s 90th Birthday Celebration
    Kass, Lee B. (2004-05-02)
    Royse Peak Murphy, born May 2, 1914 in Norton Kansas, endured the Dust Bowl, graduated with a B.S. degree from Kansas State College in 1936 and M.S and Ph.D degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1938 and 1941, respectively. After faculty assignments at Minnesota, service in WWII and Montana State he joined the Cornell faculty in 1946. His research as a plant breeder produced publications on crops such as corn, flax, oats alfalfa and timothy. His work involved international collaboration and travel. His honors include fellow status in The American Society of Agronomy and The Crop Science Society of America. University leadership roles included department head of plant breeding, Dean of the University Faculty (1964-1967) and member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees (1967-1970). Although he ‘retired in 1979, he remained and active participant in his emeritus faculty role, including mastering the dramatic changes in methodology of his field.
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    The Cornell-Nanking Story
    Love, Harry Houser; Reisner, John Henry (The Internet-First University Press, 2012-06-15)
    The Cornell-Nanking Story describes Cornell’s first technical cooperation program of international outreach–the pioneering effort whose legacy continues robustly today. This report, first released in 1963 by Royse P. Murphy, describes the very successful project in crop improvement that had been led by Harry Houser Love and John Henry Reisner in the 1920s. The present-day Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is one of the premier departments of Cornell University and continues this pioneering spirit as a lead participant in the New Life Sciences effort by Cornell University. The Cooperative Crop Improvement Program between Cornell University, through the Department of Plant Breeding of the New York State College of Agriculture, and the University of Nanking, through its College of Agriculture and Forestry – with financial support from the International Education Board – had its origin in a letter to Professor H. H. Love at Cornell from Dean John H. Reisner in Nanking under the date of February 4, 1924. The purpose of the program was two-fold, to organize and conduct a comprehensive crop improvement program, involving the principal food crops of the famine areas of central and northern China, (cotton was included later) and of equal importance, to train men in the principles, methods, application and organization of crop improvement. Dr. T. H. Shen characterized the outcomes: “The most significant results of the Nanking-Cornell-International Education Board Program for Crop Improvement in China were: (1) training a group of Chinese plant breeders for carrying on a national program of crop improvement; (2) developing better varieties of wheat, barley, rice, kaoliang, millet and soybeans showing increased yields from 10 to 20 percent more than the native varieties; (3) stimulating the Chinese government to establish the National Agricultural Research Bureau of the Ministry of Industry in 1931 which made great improvements in agricultural production in China up to 1949 through scientific research and agricultural extension services. Dr. H. H. Love, of Cornell, served as Advisor to the Bureau in 1931-1934.”
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    A Conversation with Royse P. Murphy
    Murphy, Royse P.; Viands, Donald R. (Interviewer) (Internet-First University Press, 2011-11-22)
    Abstract: Royse Peak Murphy, native of Norton, Kansas and survivor of the Dust Bowl experience, the Great Depression, then World War II, joined the Cornell Faculty in 1946. His main focus has been plant breeding, releasing many new crop varieties and supervising graduate studies for 21 Ph.D. students and 12 Master of Science students. His international work was extensive. He is an exemplary member of the Cornell University Faculty and served Cornell as a Department Head, Dean of the University Faculty (1964-67) and as a faculty member serving on the Board of Trustees. As has been characteristic of Murph since his ‘retirement’ 32 years ago and despite his recent physical adversities, he has maintained a vigorous devotion to and love for plant breeding – as witnessed by his participation in this video. Interviewed by plant breeder colleague, Donald R. Viands, he discusses his recollections of the plant breeding department at Cornell, supplementing his book on that subject, Evolution of Plant Breeding at Cornell University ( Running time: 41 minutes. A biographical sketch by Lee B. Kass, that was presented at the celebration of his 90th birthday, is also included.