Note from the Program Leader: Happy 100th Birthday!

Birthdays represent special memories, and milestones for each of us. I loved strawberries as a young boy so my dad would pick them from our garden and my mom would make strawberry pie for my birthday. Being of legal age to drive my car was another key birthday, and my 45th birthday was special because my high school agriculture students, fellow teachers, and relatives decorated my classroom with black streamers, quotes about old age, and pictures of me when I was much younger.

I recently attended a birthday party where I wished Dr. Alvin Donahoo a happy 100th birthday! Dr. Donahoo earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota in 1954. Photos, memorabilia, and accomplishments of his remarkable life decorated the reception room, and I found it fascinating to be exposed to the many ways that Dr. Donahoo impacted students and adults in the United States and across the world.

Dr. Alvin Donahoo's 100th Birthday Party

Dr. Donahoo shared several stories at his party, which included one about how his father and high school agriculture teacher in Moravia, Iowa were the two people who had the most influence on his life. His agriculture teacher believed in Dr. Donahoo’s potential and encouraged him to excel. As a result, he became an agriculture teacher in Sigourney, Iowa. Several of his former high school students attended his 100th birthday party and thanked him for his positive influence on their lives

The other story Dr. Donahoo told focused on his international efforts with the United Nations World Health Organization. He spent time in eight different countries working on agriculture projects and collaborated closely with government leaders, farmers, and others in the agricultural sector of each country. After one of these projects ended, a government official brought out his international guest book and asked Dr. Donahoo to sign it. As he briefly scanned the guest signatures, Dr. Donahoo noticed Queen Elizabeth and Dwight Eisenhower had already signed the book. He said that he felt honored to have his own signature added to the list, especially as someone who grew up in a small town in Iowa!

Watch this KARE 11 video featuring more information about Dr. Donahoo, his birthday party and his recent experience of being named a Hometown Hero by the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium for his WWII service. 


Dr. Alvin Donahoo smiling at a Minnesota Vikings game

Dr. Donahoo smiles from the stands at the Minnesota Vikings game where he was honored as a Hometown Hero.

Enjoy reading about additional international experiences 

of students and faculty in this issue of The Enthusiast. Happy New Year!