Poe Hall is named for Clarence Hamilton Poe (1881-1964). Poe served as editor of the Progressive Farmer and an advocate for improved services for rural people. He was an advocate of the programs that NC State provided, particularly in terms of agricultural education and research. He received the North Carolina Medal in 1964 and an honorary Doctor of Agricultural Education in 1951 from NC State.
The speakers were Governor W. Kerr Scott and President of the Greater University Gordon Gray. The invocation was given by Edward J. Agsten, pastor of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church. Honorary degrees were awarded to Ira Obed Schaub, director of the NC Agricultural Research Service, Clarence Poe, editor of The Progressive Farmer, Harry Parker Hammond, Dean of Engineering at Penn State College, Colin George Spencer, lumber industrialist, and Frederick Bonnet, textile scientist.