James Nichols was an instrumental member of the Department of Dairy Science who played a major role in developing the department’s national reputation for excellence in undergraduate and graduate programs.
Nichols arrived at Virginia Tech in 1964 from a faculty position at Penn State to serve as department head of dairy science. Within a short time of beginning his responsibilities, he hired faculty that became the nucleus of a progressive and forward thinking department attuned to the needs of the dairy industry.
Nichols created the positive team attitude and an atmosphere of cooperation, which made Virginia Tech Dairy Science faculty stand out from other schools, and brought the department to national prominence. Nichols progressed from department head to associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
James Nichols also had a tremendous impact on the dairy industry. During his time here, he took a leave of absence from his administrative position to create the Select Sires A.I. Cooperative. He then returned and served as dean until his retirement. He served on Virginia Tech faculty from 1964-1992. He has received several awards for his contributions. Now, the Virginia Tech Dairy Club is proud to present him with a special award created specifically in his honor — the 2014 Virginia Dairy Pioneer Award.
Congratulations James! We wish him the best and are extremely grateful for his contributions to our department and to the dairy industry of Virginia.