Dr. McKenzie


On the occasion of his retirement from North Carolina State University, Dr. Wendell H. McKenzie, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Genetics, in cooperation with the Department of Genetics at North Carolina State University, has established a permanent endowment in The North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc.  The endowment is created to encourage and reward superior academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential among senior undergraduate Genetics majors.

Wendell H. McKenzie, a native of Minnesota, received a B.A. in Biology at Westmar College (IA).   He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Genetics at NC State University in 1969 and 1973, respectively.  He joined the faculty in 1969 and has garnered many teaching accolades, including several College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and NC State Outstanding Teacher Awards, as well as the College Board of Governors Award.  Dr. McKenzie is a longtime member of the Phi Kappa Phi Board of Directors, having served six years as Southeast Region Vice President and three years each as President Elect, National President and Past President.  He has served as Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator for the Department of Genetics since 1985 and has shepherded the undergraduate Genetics minor since its inception in 1989.  Dr. McKenzie has been instrumental in developing the soon-to-be-launched undergraduate Genetics major.

His popular Genetics in Human Affairs course has reached more than 20,000 students via on-campus and distance education offerings.  His research interests are human cytogenetics and genetic toxicology.  Dr. McKenzie's sabbatical leaves and scholarly presentations, in addition to several in the United States, have included Sweden, Mexico, Canada, India, and the former Soviet Union. 

Dr. McKenzie is married to the former Georgeanna Knoll.  They have two daughters, Belinda B. Wight (NC State B.S. in Science Education and Biological Sciences, 1989) and Jodi L. Connolly (UNC Wilmington B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation, 1991; University of Iowa M.S. in Recreational Therapy, 1993).

The income of this endowment will be used to provide merit scholarships for undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Genetics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Awards from this endowment will be made to one or more students and will be for one academic year.

  • Scholarships will provide support in recipients’ senior years of undergraduate study.
  • The awards will be for Genetics majors who demonstrate leadership and future potential through:
    • participation in the Genetics Club
    • promising efforts in faculty-approved research
    • outstanding academic performance

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