Known as one of the South’s outstanding leaders in horticulture, Dr. H. Harold Hume spent more than 20 years serving the University of Florida and its College of Agriculture.
Born in Canada, Hume attended Ontario Agricultural College before receiving his bachelors and Master of Science degrees from Iowa State College.
Hume began his career at UF in 1904 as a botanist at the old Florida Agricultural College at Lake City. Joining the UF staff in 1930, he became dean of the College of Agriculture in 1938, and in 1943, became provost for agriculture.
Appointed interim president in 1947, Hume was known for spending at least 10 hours each day in the president’s office, always finding time to tend to the affairs of the College of Agriculture, in addition to his many duties as president. Hume always spent his lunch hour in his office speaking with department heads, students, or anyone who wished to see him.
In addition to his work at UF, Hume was named chairman of the administrative committee of the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences and was later recognized with an honorary doctor of science degree from Clemson University.
Hume remained provost for the School of Agriculture until he retired on June 30, 1949, after which he continued his work in the field as author of several articles and books.
Affectionately known as the “Grand Old Man of Agriculture,” Hume died four months after his 90th birthday on Oct. 10, 1965.