June 28, 2013
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Governor selects Beck for Purdue's Board of Trustees

By Tom Campbell

Sonny Beck

Sonny Beck

Lawrence “Sonny” Beck, BS ’62, MS ’64, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Purdue University Board of Trustees.

Gov. Mike Pence made the announcement Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

“Sonny Beck is an extraordinary Hoosier whose character, business experience in the agriculture industry and commitment to excellence make him the perfect choice to serve on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University,” Pence said.

Beck’s term will begin at the conclusion of the board’s July meeting. He will replace Keith Krach, who is stepping down from the board after two terms.

Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, said Beck was an excellent choice to be a board of trustees member.

“Sonny has been a great supporter of the College of Agriculture, going all the way back to his days as an undergraduate student,” Akridge said. “We’re excited for Sonny and for what he will bring to the university and to the state of Indiana in his new role as a trustee.”

President of Beck’s Superior Hybrids in Atlanta, Ind., Beck earned his undergraduate degree in agronomy and his master’s degree in agricultural economics. In 1962, he became the first College of Agriculture student to receive the G. A. Ross Award as the outstanding male graduating senior at Purdue.

Sonny Beck

A quartet of celebrants prepare to cut the ribbon at the dedication of the Beck Center in this photograph from October 31, 2007.  From left to right are Randy Woodson, then Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, Glendia Beck and her husband, Sonny Beck, and then Purdue President
France  A. Córdova. 
(Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

Under his direction, Beck’s Superior Hybrids has grown to become the largest family-owned seed company in the United States. Beck has held a variety of leadership positions within the agriculture industry, including as president of the American Seed Trade Association, president of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association, vice president of the Ag Alumni Seed Improvement Association, and as a member of the first Indiana State Department of Agriculture Advisory Council.

Beck has served as a member of the Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council, the Purdue University Executive Council, Parents Council, and the FarmHouse Fraternity’s Scholarship and Foundation boards.

In 2006, the Beck family provided the lead gift to build a training and research facility at the university’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education. The building was dedicated as the Beck Center in 2007.


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