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MSS 00005 Guide to the Thomas Lavelle Quay Diploma, 1948 June 14

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Diploma of Thomas Lavelle Quay for Ph.D. degree in Animal Ecology, North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering


Quay, Thomas L.


0.2 Linear feet

General Physical Description note


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Acquisitions Information



Processed by: Linda Sellars;machine-readable finding aid created by: Linda Sellars

Scope and Content Note

Diploma, 1948, of Thomas Lavelle Quay for Ph.D. degree in Animal Ecology, North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering of the University of North Carolina.

Biographical Note

Thomas L. Quay was born on August 23, 1914 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. He received a B.S. degree in zoology from the University of Arkansas in 1938. He began graduate study at North Carolina State in 1938 and received an M.S. degree in 1940. From 1942 until 1946, he served as Medical Entomologist and Malaria and Epidemic Disease Control Officer in the United States Navy.

He returned to graduate study and completed the Ph.D. from North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State Universtiy) in amimal ecology in 1948. He then joined the faculty of the Department of Zoology at N.C. State and was a member of the faculty for 32 years, from 1948 until 1980.

Quay studied how birds adapt themselves to their habitations. He did work on the mourning dove, the Canada goose, the ring-necked pheasant, the wood duck, and various song birds. He studied population levels of colonial waterbirds and the way they used their coastal island habitat. He conducted a faunistic survey on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore soon after it became a national park.

Quay chaired 53 master's and Ph.D. committees and served on more than 300 graduate committees.

After his retirement, Quay described himself as a "full-time volunteer and unpaid environmental activist" lobbying state agencies and legislators on behalf of a variety of conservation causes. He served on boards with the Nongame and Endangered Species Advisory Committee, the Sierra Club, the Conservation Council of North Carolina, the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and other groups.

In 1994, Quay was inducted into the North Carolina Wildlife Federation's Conservation Hall of Fame. Colleagues, friends, and former students established the Thomas L. Quay Wildlife and Natural Resources Undergrauate Experiential Learning Award to honor Quay and commemorate his enthusiasm for wildlife, ornithology, and teaching.

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

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Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

Thomas Lavelle Quay Diploma, MSS 5, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Access to Collection

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