Former Extension Director Bost dead at 90

February 28, 2014

William Bost, Extension director from 1962-81 and namesake for the campus building housing MSU agricultural administration, died this morning at the age of 90.

Visitation will begin at noon with the service at 2 p.m. on Saturday [March 1], both at First United Methodist Church in Starkville. Burial will follow at Memorial Garden Park in Starkville.

A resident of Starkville since 1959, Bost served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After graduating from MSU 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.

As the MCES director, he led many initiatives, including consolidating all on-campus MCES offices. 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.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum said, "It was with much sadness that I learned of the passing of Dr. Bill Bost. He was a legendary figure in the history of Mississippi State University and his contributions will be long remembered. I have very fond memories of my intereactions with him over the years. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends in the Extension community."