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Greetings from the Department Head

Greetings from Campus!

Now that another semester has come to an end, a calmer atmosphere settles on the campus for the next few months. As students graduate and move on to the next steps along their journeys, we are filled with expectation and hope for the future.

Professor Harrison Hughes is also “graduating” after teaching for 40 years in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. In addition to teaching many different courses over the years, Harrison has served as Horticulture Club co-advisor and as a coach of the student team preparing for the Mid-American Collegiate Horticulture Society annual competition for many years. We had a lovely retirement celebration for him on April 7, and then, to top it all off, Dr. Hughes was awarded the Student Impact Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences on April 26. Here are a few quotes from the nomination letters:

  • I am sure that my life would have taken an entirely different path had it not been for my undergraduate experiences in Dr. Hughes’ research laboratory. I made lifelong friends, learned excellent work ethics, and developed a passion for specialty crops.
  • Dr. Hughes takes the time to make you feel human. His playful demeanor reflects the not-so-serious side of university…He makes the students feel relaxed, at ease, and that radiates outward. This man has made plants, teaching and his students his passion and instilled that passion in so many of the people he interacted with.
  • His willingness to make it a priority to meet with students almost at-will, rather than to put off and schedule later, shows his care for their academic well-being as a student of the University.
  • Dr. Hughes truly is a gifted horticulturist whose passion for plant science is infectious. He has devoted his career to developing and inspiring generations of plant enthusiasts who will benefit from his guidance throughout their lives.

These are just a few of the comments we received from current students and alumni about Harrison. It is not possible to capture Dr. Hughes’ impact on students over the years in just a few words, but his dedication to students and passion for horticulture education are evident. In the spirit of appreciation for Harrison’s long-term commitment to students, we are establishing a new Harrison G. Hughes Scholarship. If you would like to contribute to this scholarship fund, please donate here.

All the best for a fruitful summer!

Jessica Davis

Department Head

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