Dr. William Bost, Extension director from 1962-81 and namesake for the campus building housing MSU agricultural administration, has died at the age of 90. Bost served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After graduating from Mississippi State University in 1949, he taught agriculture to war veterans at Ecru. He began his career with the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service as assistant county agent in Calhoun County (1951-1955) and served as county agent in Tippah County from 1955 to 1958. After completing his master’s degree in extension administration from Cornell University in 1959, he moved to MSU, where he served as MCES Northeast District agent and later as associate director of MCES. He became director in 1962 and served in that capacity for 19 years. He earned the education doctorate in administration of higher education from the University of Mississippi in 1970.
As the MCES director, he began lobbying the state Legislature in 1972 and received funding in 1974 for the complex that was completed in 1977 and now bears the name Bost Extension Center. His directorship of the MCES led many other states to model themselves after Mississippi’s organization.
He was named Progressive Farmer magazine’s Man of the Year in 1980. Gov. William Waller named him Outstanding Mississippian in 1980 for serving both rural and urban citizens’ needs. He received two USDA Superior Service Awards and a National Association of County Agriculture Agents Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized with two state legislative decrees. He served on several boards including the Mississippi Farm Bureau and the advisory boards of National Bank of Commerce of Mississippi and, later, Merchants and Farmers Bank, and the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority.
Bost was president of the Oktibbeha County Co-Op board of directors. He was a Rotarian and a devoted member and Sunday school teacher in the First United Methodist Church of Starkville.