A former university system chancellor, E.T. York held down the presidency from when Stephen O’Connell left office, until Robert Marston took office in 1974.
York earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University in 1942 and 1946, respectively; and his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1949. Between degrees, York spent time as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945, where he served in field artillery during World War II.
In 1956, York was hired as a professor and later served as chairman of the Department of Agronomy at North Carolina State University. While at N.C. State, he joined the American Potash Institute in Washington, D.C., where he served as the eastern director of market development. In 1959, York left to head the Cooperative Extension Service at Auburn University, and in 1961 he headed the Federal Extension Service for the U.S. Department of Agronomy. In 1966, the White House appointed York to a special committee for dealing with the world food supply.
York joined the University of Florida in 1963 as vice president for agricultural affairs and later, provost for agriculture. Florida agriculture’s Man of the Year in 1978, his many contributions to UF included the creation of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.