11/26/04 — Best remembered with 100,000 dollar gift to WCC

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Best remembered with 100,000 dollar gift to WCC

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 26, 2004 1:58 PM

The family of Karl M. Best has presented the Foundation of Wayne Community College with a $100,000 gift in his memory.

The family established the Karl M. Best Agriculture Endowment to provide scholarships for students in the college's agriculture programs.

It was an appropriate tribute to Best, said his wife, Lillie, because he "wanted young farmers to have a chance in life."

Best had an extensive history of civic and agricultural service, including serving on the Farm Service Agency committee for 32 years and the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District board for 35 years. He was recognized many times for his service and was inducted into the Wayne County Agricultural Hall of Fame two years before his death in 2003.

In a reception to announce the gift, dozens of Best's friends, family and colleagues gathered to remember him and his effect on farming and the county.

"It is no surprise to me that this is the kind of honor they would give to Karl," said Bill Lamm, retired Wayne County agricultural extension agent. "The caring and giving philosophy that Karl had is being carried on."

He was a man who exemplified the best in farming and "constantly sought out what was new," said Martin Lancaster, the president of the N.C. Community College System and a neighbor and friend of the Best family.

He said Best believed that if others were given the same opportunity, "not only would their lives be improved, but also the economy of Wayne County."

Fellow farmer Bryant Worley called Best "a mentor and role model not only to me but my entire generation.

"I can't think of a more appropriate tribute than to continue to educate future generations, continue to perpetuate his love of agriculture and that way of life."

Wayne Community College President Ed Wilson said it was a wonderful day for the college. "With these resources we will be able to improve the lives of people in our community as well as honor an outstanding individual."