On November 10, 2003, a commemorative seminar on "The Emerging Tospoviruses: Genetics of Change and Adaptation" was presented by James Moyer ('75), Head of the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. The celebration also included a colloquium "Plant Pathology Research and Outreach Through the Years" that reviewed selected departmental programs. Colloquium presentations covered mushroom science by David Beyer, mycology by David Geiser, epidemiology by Erick De Wolf, air pollution effects on plants by John Skelly, and outreach by Herb Cole.
Special guests included James Tammen, the first department head and former Dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota, Samuel Smith, former head and President Emeritus of Washington State University, and Eva Pell, professor and Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. Emeriti attendees included James Bloom, John Boyle, Kenneth Hickey, Winand Hock, Leon Kneebone, Felix Lukezic, Richard Schein, Lee Schisler, and Paul Wuest. An evening reception featured an open microphone period, during which an oral history was shared by department members and their spouses. All individuals who have served as department head since its founding in 1963 were present, with the exception of Paul Nelson, Interim Head, 1981-1982, who passed away in 1996.