Professor Phillip S. Tong said he is retiring from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, at the end of the spring quarter this month.

Tong, who writes the popular “Culturally Speaking” column about cultured dairy products for Dairy Foods, also has worked for nearly three decades at the university’s Dairy Products Technology Center (DPTC). He said he hopes to continue to do what he can to support the DPTC, but also hopes he can find new ways to directly work with the dairy and food industry and related organizations.

“While I will miss the University, I am really looking forward to some free time and some new and different opportunities to continue to work with the many great people and organizations I have been fortunate to know over the years” said Tong.

A retirement reception attended by 120 guests was recently held in San Luis Obispo in Tong’s honor. It was hosted by California Dairy Research Foundation, United States Dairy Export Council and National Dairy Council. At the dinner, Bill Graves (Senior VP Product Research, National Dairy Council), Gonca Pasin (Executive Director, California Dairy Research Foundation) and several members of Cal Poly spoke. It was also announced that an industry effort is underway to establish an endowed Dairy Foods Scholarship at Cal Poly under Tong’s name.

In addition to guiding the overall development and growth of the Center as its Director, Tong also was active in research, teaching, outreach and professional organizations. During his nearly three decades at Cal Poly, Tong organized and instructed over 75 short courses and symposia, chaired 25 MS student degree programs, published over 100 research and trade articles, presented over 100 presentations in 10 countries, established the Dairy Ingredients Applications Lab, and taught a number of undergraduate and graduate level courses including Dairy Science 231, a general dairy processing course that had an enrollment of 75-100 students from throughout the campus annually.

Tong also served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the American Dairy Science Association, Chair of the Dairy Foods Division of the Institute of Food Technologists, Board of Directors of the Federation of Animal Science Societies, Editorial Board of the Journal of Dairy Science, and member of the Center of Excellence of the American Dairy Products Institute.

Read Prof. Tong's Culturally Speaking columns here.

Contributed by California Polytechnic State University