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Skegee Spotlight: Warren Buchanan

September 24, 2018

The Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing regularly shines its "'Skegee Spotlight" on employees, students and alumni who help make Tuskegee University "the Pride of the swift-growing South."

Warren Buchanan, a Tuskegee alumnus who transitioned from student affairs to agricultural sciences, says he came back to Tuskegee to continue his family’s legacy.


Buchanan, who currently serves as special assistant to the dean in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, is among the long line of Buchanans who have served Tuskegee University since 1947. He says he’s doing his part in making sure his family’s legacy continues.

“I’m a legacy, and for over 70 years, someone from my family has worked here at the university uninterrupted,” said Buchanan.

“Our family’s legacy started with my grandfather, Howard Warren Buchanan, who worked in the Henderson Hall dairy barn in the field of animal husbandry,” he recalled. “In addition to my grandfather, my father, Dr. Singer A. Buchanan Sr., served as the director of the Little Theater and was also an English professor.”

Buchanan says because of his family’s ties to Tuskegee, he has always been close with the university — and Mother Tuskegee has always felt like home.


Buchanan received his master’s in counseling and student development from Tuskegee University in 1985. Shortly after, he got his start as a Tuskegee employee after Dean Walter Hill appointed him as his special assistant, as well as director of placement and assessment for USDA Research and Extension Project — all in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences.

“I handle much of our outreach initiatives for students who are interested in research and extension projects,” he explained. “With so many students, particularly in the Black Belt region, in addition to other students throughout the state of Alabama, we have a commitment to inform them of what we are doing in our research and extension projects and encourage their interests in going into the agricultural field.”

“During just the four years I’ve been in this role, we’ve been able to increase enrollment for students who are interested in research and other related projects by 250 percent among freshman,” he noted.

Buchanan says much of the college’s outreach and exposure comes as a team effort — and through a partnership with the university’s Office of Admissions.

“It’s important for both departments to work together, because we can send prospective students effective communication messages that actually pique their interests and create the narrative that eventually leads them to enrolling here at Tuskegee,” he emphasized. 

For Buchanan, he says his role is more about informing and explaining to students the countless career options a degree in agriculture could lead to.

“Agriculture is everywhere, and that’s the most important aspect to understand –– you can’t eat anything, wear anything or taste anything that’s not agriculture,” he noted. “And the biggest myth about agriculture is that it’s all just farming. It’s really a series of sciences placed together, with the outcomes being the products, services and opportunities that people would understand as being everything else.”

Buchanan says in the field of agriculture, there is something for everyone.

“We have agribusiness, environmental sciences, forestry, food and nutrition sciences, pre-veterinary medicine, and a host of other fields that will lead you to a career,” he noted.


Buchanan says working at Tuskegee — and under Dean Hill’s leadership — has been steady and a wonderful opportunity.

“Every couple of years, I’ve been able emphasize some of the different aspects of agriculture or my skill set in student counseling and development,” he said. “I enjoy seeing our students be the best they can be and seeing their personal growth, but I’m most grateful to know our department assists in exposing them to the variety of fields and opportunities available to them.”

Buchanan says he hopes to continue his outreach to prospective and current students with undecided majors. He says he loves teaching and showing students the limitless opportunities available in a career like agriculture.