Dr. Coorts was Dean of Tennessee Tech's College of Agriculture and Home Economics (now Human Ecology) from 1985 until his death in June 1994. This memorial honors a person who dedicated his life to the services of others. The Cookeville Tree Board, of which Coorts was a member, proposed the memorial, and Tennesse Tech and the Board followed up with the plan to establish the arboretum.
Coorts, the first in his family to attend college, earned a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois - all degrees in plant and soil science. Before joining Tennessee Tech in 1985, Coorts served for 17 years at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, eventually becoming Chairman of Plant and Soil Science. He also taught at the University of Rhode Island and Purdue University, devoting his entire career to education.
In addition to his tenure as Dean, Coorts was a member of the Tennessee Tech Garden Club, Cookeville Rose Society, and Bryan Symphony Orchestra Board. He was President of the Tennessee Council on Agriculture and served on the USDA Commission on Higher Education.
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