"Small Town NC Guy Does Well"

THOYD MELTON, PH.D.

This is a success story about a small town resident who progressively developed into a scholarly leader.  His accomplishments have benefited many people.

Rich Square, NC 1947 - in a small tobacco & cotton farming town in the Eastern part of NC, Thoyd Melton was born into humble beginnings.  Although the school system that he grew up in lacked some basic classroom and teaching resources, this failed to deter Thoyd from seeking a career as a scientist.  In fact, he would eventually attend and graduate with a BS degree from North Carolina Central University in 1970.  Thoyd later earned a PHD from Johns Hopkins University in 1976 in the field of Genetics.  He would eventually find his way back to North Carolina (at NC State) as an educator.

With numerous achievements and advances along the way, Dr. Thoyd Melton would become Professor of Microbiology in 1995 at North Carolina State University (NCSU).  Before, during and after that time, Thoyd worked in association with NIH (National Institutes of Health), the ONR (Office of Naval Research), and, Shaw University before moving on to North Carolina A&T State University as an administrator in 1998.

Dr. Melton started the BRIDGE program which was funded by NIH.  That acronym stands for Bioscience Research Initiative for Doctoral Graduate Education and it was designed to help future science students in several historically minority colleges.  His sincere efforts aimed at encouraging greater minority participation in the sciences found favor and support from various resources that included the Department of Education, ONR, and, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (among others).

Thoyd Melton accomplished much during his working lifetime but he also humbly recognized that his success was not from himself alone.  He had plenty of help along the way.  He also enjoyed a few breaks.  With the support of his wife, family, good friends and other mentors, he made rapid advancement over a relatively short period of time.  In appreciation of the help he received, Thoyd was also willing to help others.  He would later become a thesis advisor to six PHD candidate students, and, 10 Masters of Science students.  He helped them to realize significant success also.  Comparatively, he gave his precious time and energies even to elementary school students.

Thoyd's body of work as an administrator, instructor, scientific consultant, and, a ready resource for civic organizations helped to earn his scientific pursuits numerous federal and private grants for research projects.

Dr. Thoyd Melton was a fighter for what was important to him.  Even while battling a severe illness, he did what he could to advance the scientific community and the interests of those in it.  Thoyd's life ended at the early age of only 52.  To that point, his success had taken him to the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies at North Carolina A&T State University.  Yet, his legacy lives on through the lives of the people he touched during his lifetime.  His example is one that many have looked to as a pattern for success.  Indeed, there was only one Dr. Thoyd Melton.  His contribution and example is cherished by many.

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