Gold and Silver Medal and Pioneer Achievement Award Citations
Gold and silver medals are awarded to Society members for significant contribution over a period of time to either the Society or to the genus Rhododendron, or both. Gold awards are for contributions that have national or international impact. Silver awards recognize significant regional contributions.
The Pioneer Award recognizes pioneering and original achievement in the advancement of rhododendrons.
Gold Medal Awardees
2019 Gold Medal Award: Stephen Henning
You have immersed yourself fully in a wide variety of activities that support the American Rhododendron Society. These include maintaining Henning's Rhododendron and Azalea pages for over 20 years. This publication provides a wealth of educational material on almost every aspect of rhododendrons. You have written excellent articles and provided rhododendron photos for the ARS Journal. You launched on your personal website both the Rhododendron and Azalea Bookstore and later, the ARS Store, with all proceeds directed to the ARS. You also acted as the Registrar for the very successful 2018 joint spring convention between the ARS and the German Rhododendron Society. Most recently, you served as co-chair for the 2019 ARS Spring convention. For your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Gold Medal to Stephen M. Henning. May 18. 2019, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2018 Gold Medal Award: Dave Banks
Your tireless efforts on behalf of the American Rhododendron Society at Chapter, District and Society levels have been an inspiration to those having had the pleasure to work with you. You have served as District 9 Director and functioned simultaneously as Chair of the Society's Budget and Finance Committee and ARS Treasurer. You played a major role in the search effort for an Executive Director replacement and the restructuring of those duties; the training of a replacement and your continued role as her prime mentor. You have committed tremendous time and effort to the organization of this international Convention, developing creative and efficient solutions to a myriad of challenges. Your commitment to the continued viability of the ARS has materially strengthened the Society. For your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Dave Banks, May 25, 2018, Bremen, Germany.
2018 Gold Medal Award: Hans Eiberg
You are the founder of the Danish Rhododendron Society’s homepage, a site that serves as a reference and is visited by rhododendron enthusiasts around the world. You have been an active member of the Danish Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society for many years. You have also travelled to China on plant hunting trips and with your knowledge have been able to quickly help identify and put the proper species name on plants of interest. Your professional work as a scientist has included analysis of DNA samples to find human genetic differences. You have taken your DNA knowledge and applied it to the rhododendron world to identify relations between species and sub species. Your fascinating work has given you opportunities to share your knowledge as an invited speaker in conferences held in Denmark and abroad. For your outstanding accomplishments and fascinating work that benefits all Rhododendron Society members, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Hans Rudolf Lytchoff Eiberg. Bremen, Germany, May 25, 2018.
2018 Gold Medal Award: Hartwig Schepker, Ph.D.
You are universally admired as an ambassador for the genus Rhododendron. You have shared your enthusiasm and expertise through keynote addresses at international conferences. You have hosted innovative and highly successful rhododendron conventions in Germany. Your guidance as Director of the Rhododendron-Park Bremen has been exemplary. You have rejuvenated and expanded garden collections. You have promoted education and awareness of rhododendron diversity through the Botanika Science Center, the German Rhododendron Gene Bank project, and your role as Secretary of the Deutsch Rhododendron-Gesellschaft. All are lasting legacies. You are a research scientist, a plant explorer, a prolific author, and an honored friend. For your many outstanding achievements, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Dr. Hartwig Schepker, Bremen, Germany, May 25, 2018.
2018 Gold Medal Award: June Walsh
For more than 25 years you have been an active member of the American Rhododendron Society, always exhibiting a warm, welcoming attitude and a willingness to serve. Your contributions to the Society have been stellar. You have been an important factor in the growth and success of the Eureka Chapter, serving as treasurer, Membership Chair and Newsletter Editor. At the national level, you have served as Secretary to the Society's Board of Directors and you chaired or co-chaired two Western Regional Conferences. You co-chaired the national convention in 2007 and chaired the national convention in 2017. You currently serve as national Membership Chair. For these and other significant, lasting contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to June Walsh, May 25, 2018, Bremen, Germany.
2017 Gold Medal Award: Deanna Daneri
Deanna Daneri helped bring the American Rhododendron Society into the modern age with her advocacy for communicating with Chapters, members and the public through the World Wide Web. In 2000 the ARS became accessible to the world through Dee's gentle yet persuasive guidance and choice of key members who were able to bring the vision to fruition. Dee's interest in the American Rhododendron Society has not waned since her retirement as Executive Director; she has been the Honors Committee Chair for many years. She has been the Rhodo enthusiast who has brought Vireya Rhododendrons to Vallarta Botanical Garden in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Dee has worked tireless for the American Rhododendron Society, her work and ongoing enthusiasm has earned her the appreciation of many ARS members. For these significant and lasting contributions the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Deanna Daneri.
2017 Gold Medal Award: E. White Smith
For decades you have been a recognized authority on Vireyas in the genus Rhododendron. Your volunteer efforts and willingness to share your specialized knowledge as editor of the Vireya Vine newsletter, with its world-wide membership, have benefitted botanists and horticulturalists in all parts of the world. Your efforts will have an impact for years to come. Through your Vireya nursery production and your perseverance in advocating for Vireya awareness and culture, you have made it possible for people around the world to grow Vireya species and varieties they would not have been able to grow without your support. For these and your many lasting contributions toward the Society's goals, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to E. White Smith.
2017 Gold Medal Award: Fred Whitney
You have been an active leader at the highest levels and provided the Society with exemplary, decisive and congenial leadership. At the national level you have served as District 3 Director, Western Vice-President and President, and as the Bylaws and Policies Committee Chair. You also were Co-Chair of the 2003 and 2013 National Conventions. As an international ambassador, you have travelled to New Zealand and Australia and elsewhere on numerous occasions to promote personal relationships between these distant centers of rhododendron interest. These relationships greatly benefit the American Rhododendron Society. You have also served as president of two other important rhododendron organizations: the Pacific Rhododendron Society and the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Your love of rhododendrons and all aspects of your influential activities have profoundly enhanced the American Rhododendron Society. For your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Fred Whitney.
2016 Gold Medal Award: Norman Beaudry
You are a skilled scientist who accepts and excels at daunting challenges. Your management of the ARS Seed Exchange is exemplary. You drastically reduced costs, increased efficiency, and expanded its scope. The Seed Exchange enables hybridizers to share genetic resources worldwide, helping them develop new forms and improve hardiness. Without your leadership, this vital activity could have been lost. Your efforts have helped fund seed collection trips to remote Asian locations which has enhanced genetic diversity and introduced new species. Your kind and honorable nature has built a global network of trusted friends which has helped preserve and distribute rare plant materials. You have participated as a faithful member of the Research Committee in evaluating and recommending funding for research that reflects the international character and interests of the ARS. For you many outstanding achievements, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Norman Beaudry.
2016 Gold Medal Award: William A Mangels
You have provided the American Rhododendron Society with exemplary leadership and fiduciary responsibility for almost 30 years. You served as President, Vice-President, Program Chair, Awards Committee Chair, and Treasurer of the Mason Dixon Chapter. You served the overall Society as Director of District 9, and as a member of the ARS Executive Committee. You were the ARS Treasurer from 2005-2014 and have been the Endowment Fund Chair since 2002. In these roles you provided excellent direction and discretion to the Society's investment strategy, dealt judiciously with budget and investment issues and helped distribute countless grants to disseminate information and educate the public on the genus Rhododendron. For your many contributions and outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to William A Mangels.
2015 Gold Medal Award: Karel F Bernady, Ph.D.
Over the course of more than three decades you have distinguished yourself in countless ways as a member of the American Rhododendron Society. You have contributed time, talent, and boundless energy to scores of projects which have educated and informed others. You have served as President of the Greater Philadelphia ARS Chapter; Chairman of "Plants for Members"; District 8 Director; Co-Chairman of the 2004 ARS International Convention; Chairman of the 2009 Eastern Regional Conference; and Chairman of the Board of ARS Research Foundation. You also served on the ARS Native Azalea Committee; the ARS Endowment Committee; and the ARS Journal Editorial Board. In 2006 you received the Greater Philadelphia Bronze Award. You are now teaching grafting techniques to members. You have also created a valuable electronic rooting/grafting database as a resource tool for ARS. For your outstanding work and tireless efforts, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Karel F. Bernady, Ph.D.
2015 Gold Medal Award: Bruce Palmer
We have all enjoyed reading the Word column in the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society and have become more familiar with the biology of Rhododendrons. The scope of the Word is international in reach as the Journal goes to members worldwide and is now available through the web. You have written grant applications specific to Rhododendrons and educated the public about Rhododendrons. Through your efforts, Grants have been awarded to purchase Rhododendrons and companion plants from the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, signs and brochures, a modern labeling machine and supplies for creating identifying plaques in Humboldt Botanical Garden’s Temperate Woodland Garden. For these significant and lasting contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Bruce Palmer.
2014 Gold Medal Award: John Hammond
You joined the Scottish Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society in 1994 and attended your first ARS Convention at Oban in 1996 where you acted as conference manager, organising the tours, accommodations, and venues. Since then you have been instrumental in the organisation of Conferences at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 2002, 2008, and most recently 2013. These conferences have attracted speakers and delegates from all over the world. Your Journal Articles on Historic Gardens are wonderfully researched and give the readers an in depth account of the relationships between garden owners, plant hybridisers and the rhododendron gardens. These articles are frequently featured in the ARS Journal for all to enjoy and be educated. You have lectured extensively on rhododendron garden history and "Air Layering" as a propagation technique at many ARS Conventions. You have also acted as Director at Large for the ARS and been an inspirational voice in the Scottish Chapter for many years. For these outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to John Hammond.
2012 Gold Medal Award: Donald W. Hyatt
You are a Renaissance man. You have had a love of rhododendrons and native azaleas since childhood. You hybridize, distribute seed, photograph, paint, and share your rhododendron knowledge through your successful website and as a much-sought-after international speaker. You are a contributor to the ARS Journal, Azalean, and Chapter newsletters. You have served the Society and your Chapter in many capacities, including Chapter President and District Director. You have been instrumental in publicizing the plight of the azalea collection at the National Arboretum, where a generous grant was put in place to save the azalea collection. For your valuable and endless contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Gold Medal to Donald W. Hyatt.
2011 Gold Medal Award: June Sinclair
You have made a major impact on the Rhododendron world internationally as well as nationally. You have earned an honorary membership on the Rhododendron Species Foundation Board of Directors and are highly valued as a member of the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Your travels to China and Tibet allowed you to collect seeds which you supplied to the Seed Exchange Program for many years. Your plant donations have been added to many collections in famous gardens and in state and city parks. You have been an enthusiastic and influential ambassador for the American Rhododendron Society, contributing to its goals for education and the enjoyment of the genus Rhododendron.
2011 Gold Medal Award: Kathy Van Veen
You have had a significant impact on the American Rhododendron Society and its members locally, nationally and internationally. You have provided propagation services to individuals and Chapters across the United States and Canada that has, and continues to be, a valuable resource. It has been said that “you could root a pencil”. Your service to hybridizers has allowed many new Rhododendrons to be available that never would have reached a widespread audience. You have continually provided plants to Chapters for their plant sales and "plants for members" programs. Your efforts have greatly increased the variety of Rhododendrons available to ARS members. You have generously shared your knowledge and experience by giving programs at Chapter meetings and at ARS regional and national conferences. Locally, you have served the Portland Chapter as president and in other roles. You have also served District 4 in many ways.
2010 Gold Medal Award: Donald Voss
For decades you have been a recognized authority on flower color, taxonomy and nomenclatural issues in the genus Rhododendron. Through your selfless volunteer efforts and willingness to share your specialized knowledge, you have benefited botanists and horticulturalists worldwide, which will have an impact for years to come. You are a prolific author who has written for the ARS Journal and many other prestigious publications. Your meticulous attention to detail, keen intellect and analytical skills have been appreciated in many ways, as District Director, technical reviewer, curator of herbarium specimens and advisor for many plant registrations. For these and many other lasting contributions you have made to the Society's goals, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Gold Medal to Donald H Voss.
2009 Gold Medal Award: Jens Christian Birck
Your ruthless selection of hybrids and species has raised standards to lofty levels. Your rhododendron photography is unparalleled and available to one and all. Your keen, critical, hands-on observations of the genus Rhododendron question conventional wisdom. These insights you present clearly and irrefutably. You quietly and selflessly continue this pursuit of knowledge expecting nothing in return. You helped amass a world-class collection of wild collected hardy species and have promoted their use in public and private gardens for the world to enjoy. The Danish and South Swedish Rhododendron Chapters owe their formation to you.
2009 Gold Medal Award: Mike Stewart
You have served the American Rhododendron Society with enthusiasm and distinction as a Chapter President, District Director, Western Vice President, and National President. You have been of immense value to our Society over many years working on various committees at all levels. The leadership you have generously provided will have a lasting impact on the future of the ARS. You were instrumental in compiling and working to produce, promote and distribute the book, "Pacific Coast Rhododendron Story". You Co-chaired the ARS 50th Anniversary convention in Portland OR that not only was a gala even but a time to honor the ARS founding members. You are a highly sought speaker. Your love and knowledge of Rhododendrons and devotion to the ARS and its members is evident in the programs you have presented to many Pacific Northwest ARS Chapters, Western Regional Conferences, and other forums. As a nurseryman, your program presentations at retail garden centers and industry conventions have greatly increased interest in species Rhododendrons on the West Coast and beyond.
2008 Gold Medal Award: Herman "Bud" Gehnrich
For more than 25 years, you have provided outstanding service to the American Rhododendron Society and its members at the local, national and international levels. Holding the offices of District Director, Eastern Vice President and President, you have been instrumental in such important initiatives as the creation and enhancement of the Society's Website; interplay among hybridizers on both Coasts to combine the hardiness of Eastern varieties with the spectacular colors of their West Coast counterparts; and cultivation of relationships with many offshore members, through which we have enjoyed the availability of pollen, seeds and cuttings of plant material not otherwise available.
2008 Gold Medal Award: Robert Weissman, Ph.D.
You have served as Chairman of the Electronic Media and Digital Publications Committees, served as Webmaster and managed the Societies websites. From the hundreds of thousands of 'visits' to these sites it is clear your work has contributed to the American Rhododendron Society's goal of educating the world about Rhododendrons and their culture. Your efforts have enabled the world to learn about the genus Rhododendron, the people involved, the research taking place, the gardens with Rhododendrons at their heart, the search for and preservation of Rhododendron habitat, and new hybridizing, care, and propagation techniques. For your untold hours of work and years of outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Robert Weissman, Ph.D.
2007 Gold Medal Award: Steve Hootman
You are one of the foremost international plant hunters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and one of the most intrepid. You have served as Co-Director of the Rhododendron Species Foundation and Botanical Garden where you played a determining role in making this garden one of the premier gardens of its kind in the world. You have facilitated the mandate of the Foundation beyond all expectations, especially in regard to conservation, distribution, and education. You are a lecturer and educator extraordinaire on the subject of rhododendrons and have made significant contributions to ongoing scientific research on rhododendrons. You have also served as Co-Editor of the RSF yearbook "Rhododendron Species" and are among the most knowledgeable people in the world on the genus Rhododendron.
2007 Gold Medal Award: Peter Schick
Beyond your scenic California coastal community, you are recognized worldwide for your hands-on horticultural expertise and for sharing material and data for the genus Rhododendron and species Vireya. Your enthusiasm and generous distribution of seeds, plants and cuttings have earned you the title "Johnny Appleseed" of Vireyas. Your role in helping to create the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is legendary. The Big Leaf rhododendrons and tender species that you planted are highlights of that 40 acre enclave. Your knowledge and advocacy of natural habitat preservation contribute significantly to the protection of the environment for native species in your area.
2006 Gold Medal Award: Kenneth Cox
Your contributions to the American Rhododendron Society, rhododendrons, and the plant world have been extraordinary. These accomplishments include major efforts as a plant explorer, as an entertaining and informative writer and lecturer, as an introducer of new species and hybrids, and as nurseryman. Most importantly, these accomplishments are recognized internationally, advancing the cause of genus Rhododendron across geographical, political, and cultural borders. In grateful acknowledgment of this outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Kenneth Cox.
2006 Gold Medal Award: Sandra McDonald, Ph.D.
For thirty years, you have shared your expert knowledge and many talents with the American rhododendron Society. You have served two terms on the ARS Board. You have assisted with the ARS Journal for twenty-six years as technical reviewer and Editorial Committee chair and have written sixteen articles for the Journal. You have developed the ARS archives at the University of Virginia as a major source of rhododendron information used by researchers worldwide. From your own hybridizing and seed from others, you have grown, selected, and registered thirty azaleas and rhododendrons. Choice plants donated by you now grace three public gardens. In appreciation for your vast contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Gold Medal to Sandra F. McDonald, Ph.D.
2005 Gold Medal Award: Bill Moyles
The American Rhododendron Society's mission statement emphasizes two actions relating to the genus Rhododendron, "to educate" and "to promote." You have done this with vireya rhododendrons. You have provided education through your published articles, correspondence, consultations, and accurate record keeping. Your paper "A Vireya Seed Odyssey" is still distributed as the "authoritative guideline" for germinating seed. You have established a global network of vireya hybridizers and growers that is now an active international community of vireya enthusiasts. You have promoted vireya rhododendrons through your generous sharing of seedlings, cuttings, plants and information. Your present project, the Lakeside Vireya Garden in Oakland, California, continues to provide education and promote vireya rhododendrons. Through your long-term commitment. persistence, and desire you have made major contributions in spreading interest in vireya rhododendrons all over the world. In appreciation for all you have done, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Gold Medal to Bill Moyles.
2005 Gold Medal Award: Sonja Nelson
You have made many valuable contributions to the American Rhododendron Society. You authored an excellent book, "Rhododendrons in the Landscape", based on your extensive research. You also took on the task of organizing, rewriting, and editing the material and documents collected by the Portland Chapter Committee to produce the "Pacific Coast Rhododendron Story". You earned the respect of your peers and the sincere thanks of the Society's members as this work was performed in excess of your duties as ARS Journal editor. You coupled the above accomplishments with more than a decade of consistent service and meticulous editing of the ARS Quarterly Journal. You oversaw the transformation of the Journal to an electronic computer based publication that displays beautiful pictures to illustrate articles that continue to reflect the many and varied interests of Society members. For these achievements, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Sonja Nelson.
2004 Gold Medal Award: Jim Barlup
Your tremendous effort to create distinctive rhododendrons is most impressive. Your incredibly high levels of energy, enthusiasm, curiosity, creativity, persistence, productivity, generosity and kindness have facilitated your accomplishments and made you a very special human being. The basic elements in your unique cutting edge breeding endeavor are: taking on difficult, challenging objectives, searching, discovering and acquiring the most promising parents, establishing a mutually benefiting network, generously sharing breeding material and insights, making over 1,000 crosses each year, critically evaluating your seedlings, and encouraging nurseries and others to test grow your most beautiful selections. This explains why you are such an outstanding hybridizer and such a great role model for contemporary and future rhododendron hybridizers. With great respect and appreciation, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Jim Barlup.
2004 Gold Medal Award: H. Edward Reiley
You are an author of respected rhododendron publications and a distinguished educator. You provided practical knowledge, based on your experience, in your "Success With Rhododendrons and Azaleas" and you co-authored Introductory "Horticulture", a textbook used worldwide. You helped organize the American Rhododendron Society's Mason-Dixon Chapter and served as its first President more than twenty-five years ago. You have tirelessly provided education, advice, and exhibits; judged rhododendron shows; opened your garden to visitors; and led planting and hybridizing workshops. Nationally, you have served as District Director, Eastern Vice President, and President. You have activated programs and provided leadership that will have a lasting effect on the future of the American Rhododendron Society. Accordingly, the American Rhododendron Society takes great pleasure in presenting the Gold Medal to H. Edward Reiley.
2003 Gold Medal Award: Ed and Fran Egan
Individually and as a team, you have made exceptional contributions to the American Rhododendron Society for more than three decades serving in many roles. Your contributions have been evident as hard working members of the Portland and Tualatin Valley chapters as well as at the regional and international levels of the Society. Jointly you chaired activities at the Cecil and Molly Smith Garden and organized the business in a way that has helped make the Garden a well-endowed asset of the contributing chapters. On many occasions, your efforts enhanced the success of ARS regional conferences and conventions and helped record the history of these events through photography and publications. He has served as president of the Tualatin Valley Chapter, editor of the ARS Journal, and chair of the ARS Honors Committee. As editor, he made major format and content improvements which helped make the Journal an outstanding professional publication. She served as executive secretary of the ARS and helped modernize its business activities. She also steered the ARS Long Range Planning Committee. For these significant contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Fran and Ed Egan.
2003 Gold Medal Award: Keshab Pradhan
For over 30 years, you have been a strong advocate for the conservation and protection of the unique Rhododendron species and other alpine floral plants that are native to India's Eastern Himalayan State of Sikkim. Through your leadership and tireless dedication, you have been instrumental in creating safe havens and setting aside protected areas for Sikkim's native Rhododendron species. These plants began to be collected by early plant explorers 150 years ago, and they continue to provide a legacy of species and hybrids valued by rhododendron enthusiasts throughout the world. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by the members of the American Rhododendron Society, some of whom you have graciously hosted during their visits to Sikkim and by countless others who garden with progeny from this great plant treasury. For your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to present the Gold Medal to Keshab Pradhan.
2002 Gold Medal Award: George Argent, Ph.D.
Your dedicated work on the Ericaceae of S.E. Asia at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, covers a period of over twenty-five years. Your efforts provided the foundation and inspiration that has encouraged rhododendron enthusiasts world-wide to develop an interest in the propagation and culture of vireyas. You have made numerous journeys to S.E. Asia to study plant material, collect specimens, and make detailed observations. You have established an extensive living collection of this plant material under glass at the R.B.G., Edinburgh. This collection has made further research and taxonomic work possible. You continue to travel extensively to give lectures, deliver papers on vireya taxonomy, and share your knowledge in a way that is infectious to all those you meet. For your outstanding contributions to the plant world, the American Rhododendron Society gratefully presents the Gold Medal to Dr. George Argent.
2002 Gold Medal Award: Austin C. Kennell
You have promoted the American Rhododendron Society's goals at chapter, district, regional, national and international levels. You have established through your drive, inspiration, and visionary leadership both a people base and a financial base for the long term growth and existence of our organization. Your accomplishments are many and include serving as chapter president, Society president, chairman of the Society's Honors Committee and Endowment Fund Committee and on the By-Laws Revision Committee. You were instrumental in locating the ARS archives at the University of Virginia's Alderman Library and in bringing the Rhododendron Society of Canada into the ARS. You have visited and spoken to many chapters. You have contributed over forty articles to the ARS Journal. For your dedication, foresight, and encouragement to all its members, the American Rhododendron Society takes pride in awarding the Gold Medal to Austin C. Kennell.
2001 Gold Medal Award: Gordon Wylie
Your enthusiastic efforts to promote interest in rhododendrons and your contributions to the American Rhododendron Society are many and memorable. You have served the American Rhododendron Society as President, Director, and in countless committee positions. You have repeatedly been there to fill the need when others failed, and surpassed the best where others have succeeded. You are an exceptional person. For your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Gordon K. Wylie.
2001 Gold Medal Award: Betty Spady
You have made countless contributions to the ARS for over two decades. You played a key role in the establishment of the Willamette Chapter. You have generously given your time to the Portland Chapter and assisted with programs for regional and national meetings. You have provided valuable service at the regional, national and international level through your work as Public Relations Chairperson and as creator and editor of the electronic Rhododendron & Azalea News. Your efforts have greatly improved access to information for members and non-members alike and helped further public awareness of the ARS. Your engaging personality has been a magnet for attracting and holding members and has enabled you to work effectively with others to help achieve Society goals. For these contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Betty Spady.
2000 Gold Medal Award: Richard A. Jaynes, Ph.D.
You have provided valuable contributions to the American Rhododendron Society for more than three decades. You have promoted rhododendrons by lecturing at both regional and national meetings and writing numerous articles for the ARS journal. You nave been instrumental in helping to introduce new selections of rhododendrons and native azaleas, often being the first person to offer such plants. Your contributions to the Connecticut Chapter are endless. You have served as chapter president, provided hundreds of liners for annual plant sales, and participated in many committees and chapter activities. Your knowledge of rhododendrons and, more importantly, your desire to share this expertise with members has greatly enhanced your value to the Society. You are also recognized as the world's leading authority on the genus Kalmia. For your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Dr. Richard A. Jaynes.
2000 Gold Medal Award: Clive Justice
You have made enormous contributions to the American Rhododendron Society over many years, including being a founding, life member of the Vancouver Rhododendron Society. You have worked diligently during this time serving as District 1 Director and continuously contributing articles of historic and horticultural interest to both the ARS journal and the VRS newsletter. Your efforts in Sikkim were very instrumental in helping to establish the J. D. Hooker Chapter of the ARS. You have made other major contributions towards conservation of the environment by helping to plan horticultural and ecological projects in various locations around the world. For these noteworthy accomplishments the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Clive Justice.
1999 Gold Medal Award: Alleyne Cook
From your native New Zealand, to the great rhododendron gardens of England, to your home in Vancouver, British Columbia, your contributions to the cultivation and preservation of rhododendrons have been enormous. You have essentially created three of the four heritage rhododendron collections in British Columbia, and contributed significantly to the fourth. You have set an example as a working gardener, written erudite articles, and lectured widely. Your presence at Vancouver Rhododendron Society meetings and exchange of ideas with other members have been invaluable to the Society's vitality. You are a mentor, a guru even, to many serious gardeners-apprentices in Stanley Park, ARS members, and anyone else with a question, however elementary. For your exceptional service, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Alleyne Cook.
1999 Gold Medal Award: Jay and Robert Murray
For more than two decades you both have provided exceptional service to ARS members. He has served as chapter president, first director for District 7, and as ARS treasurer. She has served as treasurer and been heavily involved in chapter activities. For a dozen years she has also served as ARS Plant Registrar. Her registration of plant names required careful attention to detail and long hours. Together you created a computer database of more than 25,000 registered and unregistered names of rhododendron and azalea cultivars which greatly improved the registration process. With her knowledge of taxonomy and terminology she has been an invaluable proofreader for the Journal and the Seed Exchange catalog. For your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Jay Whitney Murray and Robert A. Murray.
1998 Gold Medal Award: A. Richard Brooks
You have been of immerse value to our Society over many years serving at all possible levels. You conceived and nourished formation of the Massachusetts Chapter, now one of the largest in the ARS. You have also given guidance to other chapters during their difficult first steps. You have been undaunted in your support of the Society at the national level serving as president and as a member on many committees. Our Society has benefited on many occasions from your diplomatic talents in mediating delicate situations. In your quiet and determined way, you helped opposing parties work out their differences and find solutions. You have always kept a strong focus on growth of the ARS at the national and international level by looking for opportunities to speak, write, and publish information about rhododendrons and by demonstrating how to make new members feel welcome. All those who have worked with you or were touched by your generosity, genuine friendliness, and enthusiasm, have unequivocally expressed their support to recognize you as one who has truly advanced our Society. For your many accomplishments the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to A. Richard Brooks.
1998 Gold Medal Award: Captain Richard M. Steele
You have dedicated 50 years of effort to study of the genus Rhododendron. Your research into all aspects of the species with T. Hope Findlay at Windsor Great Park has led to many fine hardy selections. Your study of the work and genius of Joseph Gable led to formation of the Gable Study Group and documentation of his legacy in "Hybrids and Hybridizers". The pollen, plants, and encouragement you provided the late George Swain and Dr. Donald Craig at Kentville Research Station also led to development of more beautiful and hardy plants. Your gifts of specimen plants and cuttings have been the backbone of plantings at Boulderwood, Pine Grove Park, Oxen Pond Botanic Gardens, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, the Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor's Garden, the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, and in the gardens of hundreds of people in Atlantic Canada. Your tireless efforts in hybridizing have resulted in 30,000 plants on 40 acres at Bayport Plant Farm. You have produced plants of exquisite quality and beauty ranked with those of the U.K. and West Coast. As a visionary you developed a large group of hybrids as a solid bank of hardy material solely for use of future hybridizers. You were a founding member of the Tidewater Chapter, Rhododendron Society of Canada and the RSC Atlantic Chapter. Your plantsmanship, enthusiasm, and ability to help others has done much to improve the genus Rhododendron. For all your accomplishments the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Gold Medal to Captain Richard M. Steele.
1997 Gold Medal Award: Henry Schannen
You have served with distinction as a chapter president, an American Rhododendron Society director, a member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation Board, a member and as chairman of the American Rhododendron Society Research Foundation, and an unofficial ambassador for the Society throughout the United States, Canada, and Germany. You have been tireless in furthering the appreciation of the genus Rhododendron; promoting rhododendron research; providing information and help to individuals; and supporting rhododendron organizations. You have been an ambassador at large, introducing rhododendron people from one area to people, gardens, and nurseries in other areas. Your efforts have introduced many choice rhododendrons from other areas to gardens on the East Coast. Your enthusiasm and dedication to advancing the genus through hybridizing has resulted in new, superior plants from your own crosses and from the crosses of those you have encouraged and assisted. In recognition of your many accomplishments, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Gold Medal to Henry A. Schannen.
1996 Gold Medal Award: David F. Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Since 1979 you have worked on the taxonomy of the genus Rhododendron at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland. Your first publication was "A Revision of Rhododendron 2, Subgenus Hymenanthes" in Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh Volume 39, No. 2, in 1982. You were joint author of " A Revision of Rhododendron. Subgenus Tsutsusi, Edinburgh." Journal of Botany, Volume 47, No. 2,. in 1990. You are now working on a new edition of The Rhododendron Handbook, Species, The Royal Horticultural Society. You have made numerous trips to China, partly to study the genus in Chinese herbaria, partly to study populations in the wild. You have given talks on the taxonomy of the genus in different parts of the world. In your long association with our Scottish Chapter you have frequently judged at shows and organized demonstrations and working sessions in the Royal Botanic Garden. For your outstanding contributions to the plant world the American Rhododendron Society gratefully presents the Gold Medal to Dr. David F. Chamberlain.
1996 Gold Medal Award: Hans Hachmann
nursery in Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany. You have made more than 4,500 crosses and raised more than one million seedlings to flowering size. New hybrids are tested against a collection of more than 1,000 of the world's best hybrids located in your comparison garden. You have introduced and registered 218 top quality hybrids covering the spectrum of large and small leaf rhododendrons and deciduous and evergreen azaleas. As a result of their excellent qualities they rank with the most popular rhododendron hybrids today, and they are exemplary for the present state of rhododendron breeding in Germany. Your rhododendrons have found friends all over the world. We look at your convincing success with great admiration and we owe you much for your courage, your perseverance, your ability and your unflagging diligence. Your rhododendrons have made the world more beautiful! In recognition of this, the American Rhododendron Society is honored to award the Gold Medal to Hans Hachmann.
1995 Gold Medal Award: Dr. Wilber Anderson
Your work with tissue culture produced a dramatic breakthrough in the propagation of rhododendrons and azaleas. This occurred at a time when the science of micropropagation was still in its infancy. The potential value of your efforts to use "tissue culture" in propagating rhododendrons and azaleas was recognized by the American Rhododendron Society when its first research grant was awarded to support your work. Use of this discovery has accounted for the subsequent proliferation of many difficult to propagate rhododendron hybrids and species. To express our great appreciation for your important contribution, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its highest honor, the Gold medal to Dr. Wilbur Anderson.
1995 Gold Medal Award: Homer Salley, Ph.D.
Your recent publication on rhododendron research was a mammoth task requiring several years of time, travel, and an exhaustive search through voluminous journals and reports. You did an excellent job assessing the relevance of the research data, producing abstracts, and neatly summarizing this information into two volumes. Your dedication to education led you to co-author an earlier book entitled "Rhododendron Hybrids." This publication provides parentage information on over 5,000 hybrids. These books provide hybridizers with easy access to vital information and they have been lauded at the national and international level. Your effort to set up the Delp Hybrid Preservation Committee has been, instrumental in preserving rhododendron gene pools. Through extensive correspondence with known owners of Delp hybrids, you were able to obtain plants, cuttings and important information on these hybrids. In addition, you found an arboretum that was willing to plant a large number of these hybrids. Your contributions at the chapter level are also unparalleled. You took the time to play a lead role in starting the Bluegrass Chapter. You also served with distinction on the Rhododendron Research Foundation. With gratitude for all of these significant achievements and contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to Dr. Homer Salley.
1994 Gold Medal Award: Bruce Briggs
You have become one of the world's great benefactors for the genus Rhododendron by your work in tissue culture propagation. With a sense of challenge and vision, you have developed one of the largest laboratories of this type in the industry. As a result, rhododendron enthusiasts around the world have a wealth of new hybrids and rare species available in numbers unprecedented. You give generously of your time to attend and support plant propagators and rhododendron growers at local, regional, national, and international meetings. At the same time you give generous support of such events providing plant materials and sharing your hard won knowledge. You sponsor interns from all over the world to study at your state of the art nursery. They come to work and share in your knowledge and experience in tissue culture, water conservation and chemical pollution prevention. By bringing these students to our meetings you add a special international dimension to our gatherings. You are indeed an Ambassador of Rhododendrons! To express our great appreciation for your many and varied contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its highest honor to Bruce Briggs.
1993 Gold Medal Award: Peter Cox
Few people are as well qualified for this honor. As an author your excellent, and informative books and articles on all aspects of rhododendron culture of both species and hybrids have enriched us all. As a plant explorer you have introduced many wild species and clones; collected species in the wild; and collected seeds for the ARS Seed Exchange. Your observations and extensive field notes have greatly aided rhododendron taxonomists. As a hybridist and nurseryman, you have given us superb new garden plants. You have distributed rare and exceptional plants. To recognize your many contributions and for your generosity in supplying scions and plants to collections and collectors throughout the world, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to Peter Cox.
1993 Gold Medal Award: H. H. Davidian
Rhododendrons have truly been your life work. No one can question your extraordinary contribution to the body of knowledge on species of Rhododendron. Your enthusiasm and interest in the genus, and the amount of your work and research is overwhelming. You are one of a small group that undertook to make sense of the tremendous rhododendron influx during the last century. Your major work published in three volumes, allows us to share some of your vast knowledge. For many years you have been, without a doubt, the authority on Rhododendron species. A more worthy recipient would be difficult to find. Therefore, it is with great pride that the American Rhododendron Society awards its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to H.H. Davidian.
1991 Gold Medal Award: Donald Kellam, Jr., M.D.
Your exemplary service as a plantsman, author, speaker, innovator, and leader have made you one of the American Rhododendron Society's outstanding members; yet it is your rare ability to enrich the lives of everyone you come in contact with that makes you a truly special person. With sincere and grateful appreciation, the Officers and members of the American Rhododendron Society award its Gold Medal to Donald S. Kellam, Jr., M.D.
1991 Gold Medal Award: Herbert Spady, M.D.
Your personal contributions as author, speaker, teacher, organizer, photographer, show judge, hybridizer, friend, and international rhododendron ambassador are virtually unmatched. Your countless hours as a volunteer in so many activities has had an important impact on the awareness of the genus Rhododendron and of the American Rhododendron Society. Your substantial involvement at the chapter, district, national, and international levels have contributed greatly to the success of our Society. The Officers and Members of the American Rhododendron Society are proud to awards its Gold Medal to Herbert A. Spady, M.D.
1990 Gold Medal Award: Frank Doleshy
Your exploration, observation, and photography of rhododendron habitants in Eastern Asia and Malaysia; your sharing of your findings through published articles, illustrated lectures, and seed distribution; and our efforts in the establishment of a new classification of Japanese rhododendrons subsection Pontica, are momentous contributions rarely equaled. The officers and members of the American Rhododendron Society are pleased to award its Gold Medal to Frank L. Doleshy.
1990 Gold Medal Award: Polly Hill
Your outstanding accomplishments in the propagation, selection end distribution of superior plant forms, habit, vigor and hardiness of rhododendrons and azaleas are truly a major achievement. Your countless contributions as a speaker, author and host have added significantly to the beauty and interest of the genus. The officers and members of the American Rhododendron Society are proud to award its Gold Medal to Polly Hill.
1989 Gold Medal Award: Warren E. Berg
Few members have contributed so much to so many over so long a period as you have. Your ability and industry in identifying and collecting many important rhododendron species have added immeasurably to the knowledge of the genus for plant lovers the world over. Your willingness to share this knowledge by articles, lectures, and plant donations makes your contributions truly unique and beneficial. The Officers and Members of the American Rhododendron Society gratefully award the Gold Medal to Warren E. Berg this 29th day of April, 1989.
1989 Gold Medal Award: Harold Greer
Your contributions to the genus Rhododendron, to the American Rhododendron Society, and to the plant world in general are so well known and numerous that no recounting is needed. Few persons have achieved your talents and knowledge in so many areas. They are exceeded only by your own personal attributes which make you an exceptional person. The Officers and Members of the American Rhododendron Society are proud to award its Gold Medal to Harold E. Greer this 29th day of April, 1989.
1988 Gold Medal Award: David Goheen, Ph.D.
In the world of rhododendrons, you have contributed quietly and unselfishly through the years as a hybridizer, explorer, collector, teacher, leader, author, speaker, photographer, show judge and friend. Your accomplishments at the chapter, regional, national and international levels have significantly extended the horizons of rhododendrons throughout the world. Your willingness to share yourself as a rhododendron person and your hours of time volunteered to rhododendrons have stimulated the interest of many and promoted the genus Rhododendron. As an expression of the American Rhododendron Society's respect and appreciation for these many contributions, it is a pleasure to present the Society's highest honor and recognition, the Gold Medal Award, to you, Dr. David Goheen.
1986 Gold Medal Award: Weldon Delp
In the fascinating world of the genus Rhododendron, your achievements represent a quantum leap into the future. Your intense research, innovative techniques, thorough analysis, and meticulous record keeping have advanced hybridizing and propagation by giant steps. Your ability to relate and communicate with others, your innate friendliness, and generosity have broadened the horizon of rhododendrons for everyone. With grateful appreciation the American Rhododendron Society's highest award, the Gold Medal is given to Weldon E. Delp.
1984 Gold Medal Award: John P. Evans, M.D.
You are a unique human being. Were we to draw up a set of characteristics that make a great member, a great leader and a great person, you would be a perfect prototype. Your contributions to your Chapter, to your region, to your Society, and to the genus Rhododendron have few equals. A roll call of the ARS leaders who have enthusiastically endorsed this recognition would read like a Who's Who of the American Rhododendron Society. One of them expressed the feelings of all when he said, "There is nothing that he touched that was not better for his effort." With the deepest appreciation, the American Rhododendron Society's highest award, the Gold Medal, is awarded to John P. Evans, M.D.
By unanimous approval of the Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, March 31, 1984.
1983 Gold Medal Award: Fred Galle
Few members in our Society's history better epitomize a Gold Medal Honoree than you. Your contributions over many years as a hybridizer, propagator, collector, taxonomist, author, speaker, judge, developer and curator of one of America's great garden showplaces have greatly enriched all of us. Your extensive and unselfish service in virtually every conceivable capacity at the chapter, regional, national, and international levels has contributed significantly to the strength and character of the American Rhododendron Society. Your willingness to help and share, your friendliness and courtesy to all, and your love of plants and mankind make you a truly unique human being. With our grateful thanks, the American Rhododendron Society's highest honor, the Gold Medal, is presented to Fred C. Galle. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, May, 1983.
1982 Gold Medal Award: Hideo Suzuki
You have achieved a truly remarkable record of service on an international level by your extraordinary contributions to the advancement of knowledge and culture of the genus Rhododendron. You have contributed significantly to the development and growth of the Japanese Rhododendron Society (which you helped found), the Australian Rhododendron Society, and our own American Rhododendron Society as well as to the enrichment and guidance of the individual members of these organizations. You have frequently shared your extensive knowledge and unique plant discoveries as an author, speaker, photographer, and through personal and written guidance or help to all who sought your assistance. In addition you have generously made contributions of plant material and seeds of unusual rhododendron and azalea hybrids and species which you sought out and collected in your homeland. In grateful appreciation of your priceless contributions to so many, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its highest honor to: Hideo Suzuki. The Board of Directors of The American Rhododendron Society, Washington, D.C., May 1982.
1982 Gold Medal Award: Gertrude S. Wister
You are an outstanding example of one whose actions and words have meant so much to so many people. For few persons have contributed so significantly to the benefit and enrichment of members of this society as well as plant lovers everywhere as you have. Your contributions have been many and varied. As an author and speaker you have eloquently shared your knowledge and experience. Your guidance and counsel as a member of the boards of various foundations and arboretums greatly enhanced the prestige and effectiveness of those organizations. Your role in the monumental task of studying, identifying, cataloging, registering, and perpetuating the Wister hybrids and plants of other Eastern hybridizers was largely responsible for adding a very important chapter to the history of American rhododendrons. Your love and knowledge of plants — your love and interest in people — your ability and willingness to share your enthusiasm and knowledge — all these have given new dimensions of enjoyment and plant interest to so many of us. For your many and valuable contributions, it is a pleasure to award the American Rhododendron Society's highest honor to Gertrude S. Wister. The Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, Washington, D.C, May, 1982.
1981 Gold Medal Award: Ed Parker
Countless times during the past thirty years you have served the society well. Your typically quiet activities on the local and regional level have always been generous in spirit, guidance, and council. No offered responsibility has been refused. A decade ago you were appointed registrar. Due to your persistent, imaginative and patient approach to this thankless and frustrating task, the registration of American Rhododendron Hybrids is now recognized internationally for high standards, professional approach and technical completeness. For your countless hours of service in design of new standards, voluminous correspondence, maintaining complete files, constant quest for accuracy, preparation of quarterly publications, and competent cooperation with international authorities, the American Rhododendron Society with pleasure presents the Gold Medal, its highest honor to Ed Parker. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, May 1981.
1981 Gold Medal Award: Lawrence Pierce
Because of your genuine love for rhododendrons and people you have contributed greatly to the American Rhododendron Society. In your travels to the British Isles, New Zealand and Australia as well as throughout the United States, you have made friends with rhododendron growers and encouraged them to visit our gardens, shows and conventions. This interchange has greatly benefited the advancement and distribution of rhododendron knowledge and created friendships among us all. You have always encouraged and inspired new members to become active in the Society's many projects. Your gracious hospitality and generosity in sharing your garden and your plants has set an example for all of us to follow. You have given countless hours to the Society in serving as President of the Seattle Chapter of the A.R.S. and the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Your untiring support is still strong and dependable throughout the whole Society. In grateful appreciation for your many years of devotion the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its highest honor the Gold Medal to Laurence J. Pierce. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, May 1981.
1980 Gold Medal Award: Edmund V. Mezitt
Your work as a hybridizer of rhododendrons, azaleas and mountain laurel has created a new standard of adaptability, vigor and beauty for the northeast and other rigorous climates of the United States and Canada. Your continuous testing and evaluation of new hybrids, your own and others, under conditions of commercial production has increased our knowledge of rhododendron hybrids and made them accessible to thousands for whom they were previously unknown. Your service to horticulture and to the American Rhododendron Society in particular has been demonstrated as a formulator and first president of the Massachusetts Chapter and as a coveted speaker and judge for other chapters. Your personal qualities of frankness and gentle enthusiasm have served horticulture and its friends throughout North America. The American Rhododendron Society with pleasure presents The Gold Medal, its highest honor to: Edmund V. Mezitt. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 31 May 1980.
1980 Gold Medal Award: Britt Smith
In appreciation of his extraordinary contributions to the culture of the genus Rhododendron this recognition is given to Britt M. Smith. He has worked diligently for the welfare of the Society with particular interest in Rhododendron occidentale for many years, finding, propagating and distributing outstanding clones. The Society applauds his efforts for the Genus in Sikkim. For all these activities and many more, The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to grant its highest award, the Gold Medal to: Britt M. Smith, Member of the Tacoma Chapter of the A.R.S. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, May 31, 1980.
1979 Gold Medal Award: Hjalmar Larson
Hjalmar Larson has contributed greatly to the knowledge and appreciation of the genus Rhododendron by: His years of providing plants of superior quality by introducing, to the United States, species and hybrids not previously known here, but most of all by his hybridization that has produced many new hybrids of exceptional merit and great beauty, some having come into bloom only recently. His long standing efforts to interest and inform the public about these beautiful plants through his radio broadcasts and by his friendly patience with those who come to admire and learn from his very extensive collection of rhododendrons and other ornamentals. His contributions to the success of rhododendron shows by exhibiting plants and trusses of exceptionally high quality. His generous gifts of plants to parks and other public plantings of rhododendrons. With respect and appreciation, The American Rhododendron Society presents the Gold Medal to Hjalmar L. Larson. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 19 May 1979.
1979 Gold Medal Award: Orlando S. Pride
Orlando Pride has won national acclaim for his creative contributions to our horticultural resources. His breeding program for evergreen azaleas has succeeded in pushing northward, by hundreds of miles, the limits of cultivation for evergreen azaleas. After decades of effort, he has brought into being a new race of 'ironclad' hybrids. His large hybridizing program aimed at developing superior, hardy, deciduous azaleas has resulted in cultivars that are noteworthy for fragrance, mildew resistance, flower color, later season of bloom and vivid fall color. They constitute a distinctive group of unusual merit. As a group, the Pride rhododendrons exhibit novel flower color, more compact growth and lower stature than hybrids that are common in severe climates. He was a founder of the Great Lakes Chapter and was one of the originators of that chapter's display and test garden. Few have made more significant contributions to the improvement of rhododendrons. The American Rhododendron Society present its highest tribute, the Gold Medal to Orlando S. Pride. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 19 May 1979.
1978 Gold Medal Award: Gordon Jones
As Director of The Planting Fields Arboretum, your contributions have been in the field of education. Your concept of a "Synoptic Garden" is an ingenious alphabetical arrangement of plants, an educational experience for students of all horticulture. You have developed new areas for the evaluation of rhododendrons while preserving the original landscape design. Through your work with Malesian rhododendrons, cuttings have been available to members for experimentation. You have assisted serious propagators with pollen and cuttings and sent seed to the seed exchange. Many horticultural groups have benefited from your lectures and your writing. As guest editor of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's handbook, "Rhododendrons and their Relatives" you received worldwide attention. Both the 1965 convention, of which you were chairman, and this 1978 meeting owe much of their success to your organizational skills. As a member of the ARS Research Foundation, and Director of the Rhododendron Species Foundation, Your experience serves us well. You are beloved by all for your quiet, unassuming manner and friendly assistance. The American Rhododendron Society proudly presents its highest honor, the Gold Medal to Gordon E. Jones, Member of the New York Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, May 20, 1978.
1978 Gold Medal Award: Herman Sleumer, Ph.D.
To find a person who has done so much for rhododendron scholarship and rhododendron growers as has Dr. Herman Sleumer, we would need to look back several generations to J. D. Hooker. Dr. Sleumer, in 1949, took a new approach to rhododendron classification: he combined botanical theory, which he had refined, with the series concept familiar to most growers. This innovation provided the scientist and the amateur with some common ground. But, published in Germany, it received little attention in English speaking countries until this year. His 1960 paper on tropical rhododendrons, however, provoked worldwide interest. These plants had been neglected throughout the heyday of Asiatic introductions, and Dr. Sleumer now described 96 new species and discussed nearly 200 others - in total about one third of the genus. Then, along with his research in New Guinea, he introduced rhododendrons to cultivation as fast as he found them, with both amateurs and professionals as recipients. Hooker, we are told, often visited the gardens of Scottish friends, making sure that his new rhododendrons were properly grown. Dr. Sleumer also enjoys seeing his new introductions in greenhouses and gardens, and the people he visits always remember his warm friendliness. The American Rhododendron Society presents its Highest tribute, the Gold Medal to Dr. Herman Sleumer. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 20 May 1978.
1977 Gold Medal Award: August Kehr, Ph.D.
Your able and gentle leadership has served the Rhododendron Society well. As Vice President and as President, you have used your organizational skills and your talents as a research scientist to lead the Society into new fields of endeavor. Under your guidance, the Society has undertaken an active research program of far reaching and long range importance. The establishment of the Research Foundation is one of the major advances made by our Society. Your achievements have not been limited to the organizational matters. As a hybridist, your new introductions have been unique. You were the first to produce a chromosome doubled clone of the genus Rhododendron. This technique, you promptly shared with everyone. You have always been generous with your knowledge as a speaker and as a contributor to the Quarterly Bulletin. In grateful appreciation of your many gifts, The American Rhododendron Society is proud to award it's highest honor, The Gold Medal to: Dr. August E. Kehr, Member of the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 14 May 1977.
1977 Gold Medal Award: Frank D. Mossman, M.D.
In appreciation of his extraordinary contributions to the culture of the genus Rhododendron, this recognition is given by the American Rhododendron Society to Frank D. Mossman MD. He has worked diligently for the welfare of the Society with particular interest in Rhododendron occidentale. He has tramped many miles in search of exceptional clones of this species: classifying, propagating, hybridizing and distributing both seed and plants. As a frequent contributor to the Quarterly Bulletin and as a speaker, he has generously shared his knowledge. He has provided slides, pictures and information to all who have requested them. Beyond this, he his taken many visitors into the areas that he has explored so that they might have first hand knowledge of this species and it's habitat. The Society also applauds his efforts in making 'Stagecoach Hill' a California state preserve, thus maintaining this important native habitat of R. occidentale for posterity. For all of these activities and many more, The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to grant it's highest award, The Gold Medal to Dr. Frank D. Mossman, Member of the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. By unanimous action of the Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 14 May 1977.
1976 Gold Medal Award: Alfred Martin
Scholar, teacher, businessman, rhododendron connoisseur and grower all describe you - Alfred Martin. For long a member of the Philadelphia Chapter, a tireless worker on local and regional committees, you actively worked to further the status of rhododendrons and the American Rhododendron Society throughout the Delaware Valley and the East. It is, however, at the national level where you have contributed even more significantly to the American Rhododendron Society. During your tenure as National President from 1973 through 1975, you led the revision of the A.R.S. Board policies and subsequently compiled in book form the by-laws, the finalization of the group tax exemption program and the minutes of meetings of the board and made this book available to the officers and directors of the Society . All this, plus your behind the scenes, supportive efforts of encouragement, advice and planning have left us with a sturdy framework upon which to build in the future. Your outstanding leadership and warm personality, together with your marvelous sense of humor, will long be remembered. The American Rhododendron Society takes pride in presenting its highest honor to Alfred S. Martin.
1976 Gold Medal Award: Ted Van Veen
In recognition of his dedication to the goals and welfare of our society, we pay tribute to Ted Van Veen. He has served long and well in many capacities - always with outstanding competence. A plantsman of exceptional ability he has worked to improve the quality and availability of choice Rhododendrons for our gardens. He has been generous in sharing his professional expertise so that others could have the benefit of his experience. His book, "Rhododendrons in America", is a welcome addition to the literature on the genus. He has given freely of his time as a judge, as a frequent speaker, and as an active participant in the affairs of the Portland Chapter. His organizational skills made the annual meeting of 1974 one of the best in our history. As a member of the National Board, his voice has always been one of quiet reason and informed opinion. He presently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of that body. For all these contributions to our common good, we are grateful. His talents have enriched our gardens, his friendship has enriched our lives. The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present its highest honor to Theodore V. Van Veen.
1975 Gold Medal Award: Ruth Hansen
In appreciation for the multitude of ways in which she has labored, for the origin, preservation and growth of the A.R.S., and the remarkable diligence of her efforts for its welfare; for her dedication to the spread of interest in and appreciation of the genus Rhododendron, and furthering knowledge of its value. In recognition of the enormous labor of love invested in local, national and international projects, with a willingness to take over the many obligations time and again, year after year; and in gratitude from the many members of the past and present who have been given help and guidance. In acknowledgement of her ability to organize and carry out the many assignments of the Society, work which is now delegated amongst several individuals, some volunteer, some reimbursed. For her willingness to take over the many good-will tasks such as hosting visitors, making contact, arranging for programs for so many years. The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to give its highest honor the Gold Medal to Ruth Hansen, member of the Portland Chapter A.R.S. By unanimous action of the National Board of Directors this 18 March, 1975.
1975 Gold Medal Award: Gustav A. L. Mehlquist, Ph.D.
You were a moving spirit in the organization of the Connecticut Chapter of the A.R.S. and have been its constant guiding light. Despite the unfavorable climate of Storrs, Conn., you have embarked on a Rhododendron breeding program of staggering proportions. In a limited area you have grown and tested thousands of Rhododendrons. Your skill, enthusiasm and energy are the envy of all who have seen your results. As the guiding spirit of the Connecticut Horticultural Society, and with your teaching at the Univ. of Conn. Horticultural Department, you have informed, inspired and won respect. The clarity of your explanations and thoroughness have made the mysteries of genetics vivid and alive for all listeners. A devoted student of plant genera you have made yourself an expert in Orchidaceae, Delphinium, Dianthus and not the least Rhododendron. You have brought to the breeding of plant groups a systematic approach that has enriched the literature and will be the basis for much work in the future. When you turned your attention to Rhododendrons, you brought to bear all of your training, patience and skill to become in a few years an acknowledged leader among the growing company of Rhododendron enthusiasts of the Northeast. For all your varied horticultural achievements, your genial personality, your tireless enthusiasm, your quizzical humor, your abundant generosity, and particularly for your contributions to the world of Rhododendrons; The American Rhododendron Society takes pride in presenting its highest honor to Dr. Gustav A. L. Mehlquist.
1975 Gold Medal Award: William E. Whitney
The American Rhododendron Society gratefully acknowledges the many contributions of the late William E. Whitney during his thirty-five years of devotion to the genus Rhododendron. As a Charter Member of the Society, and as an active member of the Portland Chapter, Bill Whitney contributed time and materials to the early development of the Crystal Springs Garden. Later, having moved to the Olympic Peninsula, he was instrumental in organizing several new chapters in the area. Generous with his time, he was a frequent contributor of outstanding programs at Chapter meetings. Trusses of his new hybrids were feature attractions at shows. He was a discerning collector of both species and hybrids. A successful hybridizer, his standards were high and as a result Whitney plants introduced and yet-to-be introduced are outstanding in flower, foliage and plant form, even under less than ideal conditions. The seasonal display at Whitney Gardens near Brinnon, Washington is well known throughout the area. Many present A.R.S. members trace their interest in Rhododendrons to a visit and tour of his gardens. The American Rhododendron Society proudly presents its highest honor to the late William E. Whitney.
1974 Gold Medal Award: P. H. Brydon
For your lifetime effort invested in the dissemination of knowledge of the genus Rhododendron we are deeply grateful. As a charter member, the first vice-president, and a major instrument in the construction of our Articles of Incorporation and By-laws, you invested enormous time and effort for the welfare of our Society. For your work as editor of the Quarterly Bulletin, your countless written contributions and photographs to this same publication since the day of its inception; and your many lectures in which you have enlightened our members; we owe our gratitude. You have given freely of your time in judging our shows in service on local and National Boards, and as Curator of the Rhododendron Species Foundation plant collection. It is with full awareness there have been many other responsibilities you have undertaken and managed without fault. Your life interest in horticulture with particular emphasis on the Rhododendron family, has added substantially to the betterment of our individual gardens. For these contributions, your pleasant demeanor, ready wit, and knowledge, The American Rhododendron Society proudly presents its highest tribute to P. H. Brydon.
1974 Gold Medal Award: James Caperci
For over two decades you have faithfully served The American Rhododendron Society and the Seattle Chapter with remarkable dedication in a wide range of capacities. You were among the earliest members of your Chapter, and your record of attendance and participation at our meetings has become legendary. You have unselfishly given of your time as a member of the National Board as a frequent speaker at Chapter meetings across the nation and as a show judge on innumerable occasions these often requiring extensive travel. As a knowledgeable plant collector, successful hybridizer, and skillful grower, you have enriched the gardens of America and the world, and introduced a new awareness in the value of dwarf and alpine Rhododendrons. For your willingness to distribute choice plants frequently from your private collection and at personal financial sacrifice we will be forever grateful. Your generosity extends to contributions of plant material to many charitable organizations in their various fund raising activities. For the years of faithful service to our Society, and the knowledge and appreciation of the genus Rhododendron.
1973 Gold Medal Award: Anthony Shammarello
In acknowledgement of his contributions to the beauty and diversity of gardens in cold climates, and in appreciation for his admirable career as a landscape designer and nurseryman at an extraordinary level of excellence. The rhododendron hybrids he has produced are the first new introductions in a century to gain wide currency throughout the northeastern United States. They have extended the flowering season and by their example have created a trend toward the breeding of the compact cultivars needed for contemporary landscaping. His support of the American Rhododendron Society and its Great Lakes Chapter has been both constant and valuable for many years. His interest in, and his generosity to the Chapter's test and display gardens at the Secrest Arboretum have enhanced their success. As a widely recognized, dedicated plantsman and creative force, as an unselfish and constructive influence in American horticulture, he deserves the gratitude and public tribute of all members of this Society. The American Rhododendron Society takes pride in presenting its highest honor to Anthony M. Shammarello, member of the Great Lakes Chapter. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 26 May 1973.
1973 Gold Medal Award: Thomas Wheeldon, M.D.
In grateful acknowledgement of his outstanding contributions to horticulture, more especially in the propagation, cultivation and development of interest in azaleas and rhododendrons. For his service to the American Rhododendron Society as a member of the Middle Atlantic Chapter, which he served as President from 1956 to 1966. For organizing and serving as general chairman of the first annual meeting of the Society to be held on the east coast at Winterthur, Delaware in 1962, which started the pattern of alternating the meeting between east and west. For freely and generously opening for public visits his eight-acre garden, "Gladsgay", and for the extensive propagating program which has made possible the widespread sharing of the over 2000 varieties of azaleas and over 300 kinds of rhododendrons with others of less advanced collecting and growing experience. The American Rhododendron Society takes pride in presenting its highest honor to Thomas F. Wheeldon, M.D., member of the Middle Atlantic Chapter. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, 26 May 1973.
1972 Gold Medal Award: Donald McClure
In recognition of your long record of service to the American Rhododendron Society, spanning two decades, and to the genus Rhododendron. For the leadership you have given the Seattle Chapter, particularly during its formative years, as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and three term President - a period of growth and expansion during which many new activities, including the Study Group, were launched and nurtured. For your accomplishments as Show Chairman, using your annual vacations to devote full time to the success of these events, which are remembered for their scope and beauty-and as standards with which subsequent shows have been compared. For long and faithful service on the Board of Directors of the Society. For your steadfast efforts to improve the quality of rhododendrons available to the gardening public, through your contributions as Chairman of the Awards Program, and by personal example - growing, selecting, sharing, and encouraging these interests in others. And for continuing to give generously of your time - lecturing, judging, and serving on many committees, always willingly, The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present to you, Don McClure its highest tribute, the Gold Medal.
1972 Gold Medal Award: Maurice Sumner
Maurice H. Summer of San Francisco, Calif., for over a quarter of a century you have served the ARS in a wide range of capacities with selfless dedication and with remarkable skill. You were an organizing member of the California Chapter, and have served as its President and continuing guiding spirit. As a hybridizer and plant collector and distributor, you have generously enriched our gardens; and as a judge, speaker, author, board member, committeeman on countless occasions and international ambassador of good will, you have greatly enriched our Society and have beyond measure given the sort of service that enables volunteer organizations to continue. You have, it must be admitted, had the advantage of having your remarkable wife Frances at your side throughout your service. Maurice Sumner, you have brought to all tasks a most extraordinary humanity and have established the highest possible standards of public service and personal humility. We, the American Rhododendron Society, are thus honored to present to you our highest honor, our Gold Medal, on this 28th day of April, 1972.
1971 Gold Medal Award: Edward Dunn
The qualities of true leadership are found in few men, but the American Rhododendron Society is fortunate to have been served by a man who has these qualities in abundance. A wise counselor, thoughtful chairman, and above all, a gentleman, Edward Dunn has contributed generously to virtually every activity of the Society. A charter member and one of the first presidents of the Seattle Chapter, Edward has continued to contribute in a major way to the success of chapter activities while traveling widely on behalf of the Society. Most recently he has been active in the planning stages and has been instrumental in the acquisition of land for a major Rhododendron Test Garden in the Seattle area. A long-standing director of the American Rhododendron Society, he has served the National Society with distinction. As Vice-President and President, his accomplishments over the years have been meaningful and lasting. None has been more significant, however, than his efforts in strengthening the ties that make the Society a truly national organization. It is a mark of genuine dedication that after retiring as President, rather than taking a well-deserved rest, he directed his talents to a new challenge and accepted the presidency of the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Therefore, in recognition of the full measure of energy, wisdom, and leadership he has given, the American Rhododendron Society takes pride in presenting to Edward Dunn its highest honor, the Gold Medal.
1970 Gold Medal Award: Esther Berry
Perhaps no member of our Society is as well known to so many other members as is Mrs. Robert Berry. Certainly, few have done as much to introduce the genus and the Society to as many persons. Our highest award, the Gold Medal, is given for outstanding contributions to the genus or to the Society. On both counts, Esther Berry has earned this honor in full measure. As an enthusiastic member of the Grays Harbor Chapter she had much to do with its growth, has been very instrumental in promoting rhododendron plantings in that area and is still active in establishing an arboretum at the Grays Harbor College campus. Always generous with her time and plants, she has been of great aid to the University of Washington Arboretum, has served as judge at numerous chapter shows and, despite sometimes heavy obligations at home, has always been ready to help on call. For several terms she has served as a very talented and decorative member of the national Board, both as a chapter president and as an elected director. From here she launched what has become the most successful and fruitful enterprise of the Society, The Seed Exchange, Initiated, implemented, and executed by Esther Berry, with the help of many devoted co-workers, this project is second only to the Bulletin in popularity. It has stirred interest in rhododendron breeding and propagation throughout the Society, awakening a dozing talent in old members, bringing in new ones and - mirabile dictu - makes money! It would be well-nigh impossible to guess the hours of effort Esther has put in on this important work. Just as improbable would it be to count the many acts of kindness and service she has performed for our members and others. She has earned the gratitude of gardeners everywhere. Actually. some people know the Pacific Northwest only as the place where Mrs. Berry lives. In gratitude for all of these things and because she is, as one of her chapter members put it "our beloved Esther Berry", the American Rhododendron Society is pleased and proud to award her the Gold Medal.
1970 Gold Medal Award: Evelyn Jack
It is my privilege to introduce to you a long standing and highly regarded member of the Vancouver Chapter. The story of Miss Evelyn Jack is of a person who has literally dedicated most of her waking hours to quietly and effectively furthering the art of Horticulture and more particularly, the development of the Rhododendron species in the Pacific Northwest. Since she is a quiet and unassuming person, she is not well know personally to even some members of our own Chapter, but those who have worked with her both at U. B. C. and in connection with the Species Foundation of the A.R.S. are aware of her efforts. Her interests in rhododendrons was stimulated by a major gift of rhododendrons from the Greigs of Royston and since that time she has spent a great deal of time on the collections and has become an authority on rhododendrons. With the development of the Species Foundation of the A.R.S. it became necessary to send scions to Canada from Great Britain, and the task of rooting and grafting these fell to Miss Jack at U. B. C. Over a period, 1,133 scions with 338 forms were received and propagated practically single handed by Miss Jack with very few losses. Miss Jack is known to be quietly helpful to the local buffs in their efforts with rhododendrons. Following the National convention in Seattle, a member of the Vancouver Chapter is known to have brought a large flower bedecked hat across the border on the back seat of her car, decorated with a number of choice clones which were taken to Miss Jack and successfully propagated! Too often, members of our society who work quietly and diligently are passed by at the honors table, so it is with great pleasure that I recommend on behalf of the Vancouver Chapter, Miss Evelyn Jack, for the Gold Medal Award of the A.R.S.
1970 Gold Medal Award: Robert Ticknor, Ph.D.
In appreciation of his unhesitating willingness and readiness to give of his time and travel for lectures throughout the United States; his never failing interest in providing educational material, help and inspiration in organizing and fostering Study Groups continuing to this day with progressive development. For his experiments and his contributions to our knowledge on feeding, soil composition, and research on weed control. For his extensive interest and work with the genus Rhododendron, beginning long before he was a member of the Rhododendron Society but engaged with general horticultural activities that occupied his attention on the East Coast. For his many quiet, non-intrusive labors on behalf of the Rhododendron Society, both in the local chapter as well as with the National organization in its demands as an officer, as a Board member. and as member of numerous committees. The American Rhododendron Society presents its highest tribute, the Gold Medal to Robert L. Ticknor, Member of the Portland Chapter of the A. R. S. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of The American Rhododendron Society, May 1970.
1970 Gold Medal Award: Koichiro Wada
It is for exceptional merit that the American Rhododendron Society has reached beyond the boundaries of the United States to award its highest honor to a man whose name is well stamped in the rhododendron world. His contributions in this field are monumental and in one way or another have had impact on all members of this society. For one who was not afforded a horticultural education, Mr. Wada acquired a vast fund of plant information in his early youth. At the age of 20 he had already introduced to English and continental gardens numerous plant treasures hitherto unknown in the western world. His work breeding azaleas, maples, lilies and tree peonies are well documented. We hope soon to hear of his rhododendron breeding especially designed to withstand hot dry weather. Mr. Wada's discerning search for new species and in particular dwarf forms of Japanese varieties has produced a host of new plants many of which are proving worthy parents in rhododendron breeding. His introduction of R. yakushimanum almost 40 years ago is now a legend. The finest form of this superb species has deservedly been name Koichiro Wada! Many of us have received invaluable quantities of seeds, cuttings and plants from this generous plantsman which ultimately must enrich us all. His frequent attendance of our national meetings has permitted opportunity to better know him for the kindly, modest and knowledgeable man that he is. Therefore it is with great pleasure, Mr. Koichiro Wada, that the American Rhododendron Society presents you with its Gold Medal.
1969 Gold Medal Award: J. Harold Clarke, Ph.D.
Dr. J. Harold Clarke has rendered outstanding service to the American Rhododendron Society from its inception. He had actively worked with the genus Rhododendron for many years before the Society was formed. His contributions as President of the Portland Chapter and of the National Society are extensive. From 1958 to 1963, as National President, he served his members well, by attending many of the Chapter meetings, and keeping them informed by writing articles and comments in the Quarterly Bulletin, and by his diplomatic thoughts and actions in local and National Board meetings. After graduating from Purdue University he became a professional plant breeder in the New Jersey Dept. of Agriculture. He wrote many articles for that Experiment Station, lectured on radio and to garden clubs, and wrote a book on the Culture of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Dr. Clarke has further served this Society as Vice President, Yearbook Editor, Executive Vice President, Executive Secretary, and Editor. Because of his experience in writing, he accepted the capacity as Editor of the Quarterly Bulletin for five and a half years. This involves accumulating quality pictures, meeting deadlines, and writing to many people requesting information or articles. In view of these contributions and activities, he has been recognized internationally and has been our representative in England and Scotland. To Dr. J. Harold Clarke, whose devotion to this organization has been shown by his willingness to serve individual members as well as the National Society, to drive the many miles from Long Beach, Washington, to attend Chapter meetings, National Board meetings, and many Committee meetings, and to spend hours of his personal time for the American Rhododendron Society, we issue the Gold Medal.
1969 Gold Medal Award: Howard J. Slonecker
Howard J. Slonecker merits this honor because of his interest in Rhododendrons, his willingness to organize and promote the Society, and his faithfulness in being quietly available. His interest in the total Rhododendron family is evident by the material he has displayed at the Chapter Shows each year in Portland as well as a multitude of Northwest Shows. Through Howard, the Camas Garden Club Show receives a large number of trusses from the Test Garden annually. From his garden have come trusses and sprays of the Azaleas and Rhododendrons he has collected. In his home are ribbons and trophies earned because he carefully selected many prize-worthy entries. He is considered an excellent judge by the many Chapters who have availed themselves of his ability.
Howard has been with the Society since its establishment and has consistently attended its meetings. Work sessions at the Test Garden, attendance at National and Chapter Board meetings, and his presence at National and Chapter meetings attest to his willingness to serve as a member. Howard has been assigned various positions and has effectively accomplished what was asked of him. His standards are high, his knowledge is broad, and he has the ability to identify species and hybrids of Azaleas and Rhododendrons. He is the kind of expert that shares his knowledge with the beginner as well as the advanced collector. He is available to identify cut trusses and sprays from exhibitors in the Chapter Shows and to identify plants in the Test Garden which no one else recognizes.
To Howard J. Slonecker, the A.R.S. presents its highest award, the Gold Medal, May 10, 1969.
1968 Gold Medal Award: Carl H. Phetteplace, M.D.
Dr. Carl H. Phetteplace's avid interest in rhododendrons and growing plants must surely hark back to his origin in an Oregon Pioneer family who lived by the soil. His selfless effort to promote better rhododendrons coupled with a dedication to the Society continues to leave an indelible record. The Phetteplace garden developed over the past 35 years on Leaburg Lake on the McKenzie River has prospered in a native woodland setting. His garden is shared with local friends interested in rhododendrons and is open for the public to appreciate. The plants and the garden's gracious host have been enjoyed by visitors from across the nation and the world. His collection of plants grown from seed collected on the Rock Expedition is indeed excellent. Dr. Phetteplace has served as president of the Eugene Chapter and in more recent years as vice president of the National Society. He is enjoyed for his quick wit, and his highly professional approach is coupled with an earthy sense of humor, which lends to a most interesting personality. He has contributed countless plants, propagation material, and seed to people across the nation. He has traveled widely both in this country and Europe to promote the cause of fine rhododendrons. He has lectured, acted as judge and dispatched slide lectures to numerous chapters of the Society. His generous contributions of articles to Society publications have been enjoyed by numerous rhododendron fanciers. To Dr. Carl H. Phetteplace, for all these reasons and others not mentioned, we confer the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society in 1968; to this grand friend in reverent acknowledgment of his past endeavors and for his indefatigable service in the future, this award is presented as a measure of the respect and esteem he is held in by his friends in the Society.
1968 Gold Medal Award: Paul J. Bowman, M.D.
For his deep devotion to the genus Rhododendron and particularly for his pioneering work in collecting and distributing rhododendrons especially suited to the California climate, the American Rhododendron Society is very pleased to present its highest honor, The Gold Medal, to Dr. Paul Jay Bowman of Fort Bragg, California. Dr. and Mrs. Bowman's garden has long been a place of pilgrimage for all rhododendron growers. In the garden we have found the magnificent collection that represents decades of collecting and seed-raising, with a constant emphasis on better forms. In Dr. and Mrs. Bowman we have found the warm hospitality and geniality and the selfless desire to share plants and information that is the mark of the finest plantsmen. With all rhododendrons as his province, Dr. Bowman has always taken special interest in the Maddenii Series and in other of the more tender rhododendrons, first showing by his pioneering example how thoroughly they were adapted to the coastal California climate, and then, by generously sharing his best plants, truly changing the face of California's gardens. Even with heavy professional duties, which included the operation of a hospital, Dr. Bowman has served as the guiding force in the California Chapter, and he and Mrs. Bowman have somehow always found time to welcome all interested visitors. Dr. Bowman is responsible for first interesting countless gardeners in rhododendrons, and he has provided to rhododendron growers throughout the world information on the Maddenii Series and its affiliates that is unavailable elsewhere. The American Rhododendron Society is thus greatly pleased to present to you, Dr. Paul Jay Bowman, its Gold Medal.
1967 Gold Medal Award: Josiah R. Brooks
WHEREAS, Josiah R. Brooks of Asheville, N.C. has rendered invaluable service to the American Rhododendron Society through his efforts to stimulate general and real interest in this genus.
AND, WHEREAS, he was the organizer and first President of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. He has freely and abundantly given of his time to create interest in the rhododendron. He has donated innumerable plants to further this interest. His experiments with the rhododendron and knowledge gained there from have helped immeasurably the increasing interest in this plant in the Southeastern United States.
In recognition of all this, the 1967 Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society is hereby awarded to him this ninth day of May, 1967.
1967 Gold Medal Award: Cecil Smith
Since the early formative years of the Society, Cecil Smith has worked continuously with enthusiasm and dedication for the advancement of the Society. He has also worked in numerous others ways to share his knowledge of rhododendrons with others. Cecil Smith's service to the Society extends over many years as a National Director and as a frequent contributor of articles to the Society's publication. He has been the major source of photographs needed for the Society's publications, making this his special project. Cecil Smith has developed an unusually fine slide collection of rhododendrons in color. These he uses as a basis for the many rhododendron programs he has presented to various chapters of the Society and other horticultural groups, thus helping to increase interest in the genus Rhododendron. In a woodland setting near Aurora, Cecil Smith has created one of the finest rhododendron gardens in the Northwest. Many individuals and garden groups tour his garden each year and he has shared his knowledge of rhododendrons generously with all these people. His garden of outstanding rhododendrons has been the source of pollen for the work of hybridizers in many areas. It has also been the foundation for his own hybridizing, begun in 1951 and only now bringing him growing recognition. To Cecil Smith, whose work for the Society has been continuous and richly productive, whose knowledge and rhododendron resources have been generously shared with all and whose motivation has been solely the love of rhododendrons, the American Rhododendron Society presents its highest tribute. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors in Seattle, Washington, April 9, 1967.
1966 Gold Medal Award: Ted and Mary Greig
Forty years ago the Pacific Northwest was, rhododendron-wise, a desert, with only a small oasis here and there to serve those interested in our favorite plants. At Royston, on Vancouver Island, such an establishment was at this time born, and over the years has grown to become a headquarters for a continent. All of this is due to the perseverance and energy and knowledge of Ted and Mary Greig who planned, built and conserved a great center of rhododendron culture. To them came the best seed collections of Kingdon-Ward, Ludlow and Sherrif, and Rock. From these raw materials and through the catalysis of the Greigs' labor and loving care, countless valuable species were introduced to America. Of equal importance they retained their treasures through careful and learned culture, and had replacements available when others lost theirs. The hard won knowledge has been shared with fellow enthusiasts. Countless Chapter programs have been highlighted by eagerly anticipated appearances of the Greigs. Countless rhododendron shows have been made better by Ted Greig's participation as a judge. Countless pilgrimages, individual and group, have been made to the Royston shrine to be met with unfailing hospitality and profitable sharing of information and experience. As time for retirement came, the Greigs performed final acts of service to rhododendron culture by making possible the purchase of their fine collection by the Vancouver Park Board, and by making a generous donation of plants to the University of British Columbia. For all these great gifts we make the best return available to us and award to Ted and Mary Greig the Gold Medal of The American Rhododendron Society. T he award is made to pioneers who served and shared in self-exploitation, to friends who've stood the test of time.
1966 Gold Medal Award: John Henny
As first President of the American Rhododendron Society during its formative years, John Henny through his leadership and untiring efforts in behalf of the Society, helped to build a foundation on which the Society has expanded and on which its present success is based. After the growth of the Society and the various chapters, John Henny served as President of the Portland Chapter for four years. During this time the Portland Chapter was host to the International Rhododendron Conference in 1961. John Henny has had a continuing interest in raising the quality of rhododendron hybrids being grown in this country. He has made three extended trips to England searching for the finest new hybrids to introduce into American gardens. He directed his own hybridizing program to this end and has contributed new rhododendrons of recognized merit. John Henny's service to the Society has continued through the years, as a National Director and as a contributor of many fine articles to the Society's publications. Of great value have been his willingness to share his wealth of rhododendron knowledge and his efforts to raise rhododendron quality. To John Henny, founding member and first President, is presented the Gold Medal of The American Rhododendron Society, in recognition of his many contributions to the Society, in grateful acknowledgment of his past guidance, in continuing service and as a token of the deep respect and admiration in which he is held by his associates in the Society.
1966 Gold Medal Award: Ben Nelson
In any field of endeavor it is unusual to find a person who will really strive for perfection of possession of knowledge. It is even more unusual to find one who does this and is able to maintain perspective in the common touch. Attainment of both these distinctions coupled with a true generosity and a desire to share the results of his labor is unique. Over the past thirty years, Ben Nelson has devoted every spare hour to introduce and breed fine rhododendrons. He has studied, and read and learned to perfect his knowledge of these fine plants. He has given of his knowledge as Chapter Program Chairman, as founder of the Seattle Chapter Study Group, as a tireless worker on the Species Evaluation Committee and as a friend of every rhododendron grower. Throughout all this he has maintained an endearing attitude of common sense and camaraderie. For all these things, knowledge, generosity, friendship and service we award to Ben Nelson the Gold Medal of The American Rhododendron Society and offer him this citation as elder statesman of rhododendron lovers.
1965 Gold Medal Award: David Leach, Ph.D.
The award of the Highest Honor of the Society is hereby given to you, David Goheen Leach in acknowledgment of your contribution to horticulture. As a breeder of rhododendrons you have achieved new standards of beauty and hardiness in a difficult climate. As an author you have made notable contributions to rhododendron literature not only through numerous papers but also by the production of your book "Rhododendrons of the World" recognized throughout the world as a definitive and comprehensive work on the subject. As a general promoter of interest in rhododendrons and your untiring efforts in the development of your Chapter you deserve the grateful recognition of all members of the society. Therefore, in appreciation of your meritorious efforts in the development of the rhododendron, the American Rhododendron Society takes great pleasure in awarding you its Gold Medal.
1965 Gold Medal Award: Henry T. Skinner, Ph.D.
Henry T. Skinner has done important work for Rhododendrons and Azaleas and many other plants for over thirty-five years. Trained at Wisley, he became research assistant and instructor at Cornell and then curator of the Morris Arboretum. In preparation for his Ph.D. thesis he traveled some 25,000 miles along the Eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida and as far west as Indiana and Texas to study our native Azaleas. He located the "population centers" of many of the species, studied the occurrence of natural hybrids, and selected, described and brought into cultivation hundreds of distinct and superior forms of these species. Since 1952 he has served as Director of the United States National Arboretum with great distinction. He has brought the Arboretum to its present high standard of excellence, and has through his writings and lectures awakened great interest in horticulture. The American Rhododendron Society is proud to award its Gold Medal, with this citation, to Dr. Henry T. Skinner for his services in botany and horticulture in general and in particular for his work on the native Azaleas of our Eastern States.
1964 Gold Medal Award: Herbert Ihrig
To Herbert Ihrig, a pioneer in the Northwest in the study and culture of the genus Rhododendron, for his many years of contributions to Rhododendron gardens in the Seattle area, and in recognition of his untiring efforts to increase the growing of finer forms, the American Rhododendron Society presents its Gold Medal.
1964 Gold Medal Award: Ben Lancaster
With great pleasure the American Rhododendron Society presents to Ben Lancaster its highest honor, the Gold Medal, in sincere appreciation of his contribution to the Society. His service to the Society began as a charter member and continued through a number of years as a National Director. He has made enthusiastic contributions in the planning and planting of the Portland Test Garden and in donations of plant material. He is the author of many fine articles in the Quarterly Bulletin and in other publications on the culture of rhododendrons and related subjects. During a convalescence, he became acquainted with accounts of the Rock expeditions and began to accumulate the better forms of species as a basis of a hybridizing project. His goals were to improve growth habit, quality of flower and ease of propagation. As a result of this program at Camas, Washington, Ben Lancaster has rewarded the gardens of the world with a spectrum of beautiful rhododendrons. A summary of the achievements of Ben Lancaster would be incomplete without recognition of the inspiration and interest shared with him by his wife, Rose Lancaster, whose hand and name has entered into so many of his hybrids. To Ben Lancaster, with his quiet Scotch humor, his penetrating knowledge of the genus Rhododendron, his deep sense of responsibility to his fellow gardeners, his unlimited generosity in time and experience to all those who seek his counsel, the American Rhododendron Society presents its highest tribute, the Gold Medal.
1964 Gold Medal Award: Fredric P. Lee
It is now our pleasure, at this meeting of the Middle Atlantic Chapter, to present an outstanding award, the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society, to a gentleman who has been both a long-time member of the Society and one of the founders of this Chapter. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, this gentleman is noted for accomplishments and contributions of many kinds. As a legal authority, he has served as legislative counsel to the United States government and as special assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture; he has been professor or lecturer at at least seven universities, and a leader in many civic activities. In his avocation as a horticulturist, he has served as a director and as a member of the editorial committee of the American Horticultural Society. As Chairman of the Advisory Council of the United States National Arboretum for the past 18 years, he has made great contributions to the physical and functional development of this institution. For all of this, for his contributions to our knowledge of daffodils, hostas, lilies, and many other plants, it is not surprising that he has been previously honored by a number of national organizations. But this gentleman has also been a pioneer in testing new rhododendron and new azalea varieties in a Bethesda, Maryland, garden which we all know well. Besides being a willing advice-giver on the problems of rhododendrons, azaleas and their garden companions, he is also a writer with an innate ability to separate the chaff from the basic or essential. In his production of The Azalea Book he has provided so original and so complete an information source on this important segment of the genus Rhododendron that within the brief period since 1958 this valuable reference work has attained its third printing and remains unlikely to be superseded for many years. In partial recognition of his many contributions to horticulture and to our knowledge and understanding of azaleas and rhododendrons in particular, it is our very real privilege to present to Mr. Frederic Paddock Lee this Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society.
1963 Gold Medal Award: Dr. Clement Bowers
A keen interest in plant breeding in the late 1920's led the man we are honoring tonight to an intensive life long study of the genus Rhododendron. In gathering together information and material from many sources both in this country and abroad to aid him in his breeding work, he was inspired to make a complete study of the genus and to write a much needed book as a source of information for others interested in rhododendrons. In 1937 his now classic volume "Rhododendrons and Azaleas" was published and has been a widely read comprehensive source book of information for scholars as well as amateur gardeners and many others who have also become interested in breeding rhododendrons. He revised his book extensively in 1960 bringing it up-to-date with new knowledge and information. Living in an area where rhododendrons must be sub-zero in hardiness rating to survive, he directed his efforts toward developing colorful hybrids for cold regions. After many years of testing, the hybrids he has selected offer definite promise to those who live in cold climates and as hardy breeding material for other hybridizers. Along with a few other Rhododendron Society members he has traveled widely to locate, evaluate and to encourage wide testing and use of the best Dexter hybrids. We are pleased to present the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society to Dr. Clement Gray Bowers, well known as a teacher, lecturer, and author, in recognition of his contributions to the Society and to the field of horticulture.
1963 Gold Medal Award: Rudolph Henny
The American Rhododendron Society grants its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to Rudolph Henny in grateful acknowledgement of his years of dedicated service to the Society he helped found. His untiring effort as editor of the American Rhododendron Society Bulletin from its inception has been one of the main forces responsible for the growth of our Society to the many parts of the United States. The fine quality and high level of interest which Rudolph Henny produced and maintained in the Bulletin has furthered enthusiasm for rhododendrons far beyond the membership limits of the Society. As a result of Rudolph Henny's intense interest in rhododendrons and their hybridizing, he developed at Brooks, Oregon, one of the finest rhododendron gardens in the United States. He had gathered in this woodland park garden specimen plants of both hybrids and the better species forms, the finer selected species seedlings from the Asian expeditions, and a wealth of his own outstanding hybrid rhododendrons. All visitors to this garden were most welcome, amateur and expert alike; and Rudolph Henny gave generously of his time and knowledge to each. The high standards and integrity which Rudolph Henny set for himself in all his endeavors are nowhere more evident than in his rhododendron hybridizing program. Application of his profound knowledge of rhododendrons to hybridizing and the destruction of hybrids which did not reach the goals set, have produced a legacy of new hybrids whose lasting contribution to the advancement of rhododendron horticulture is unquestioned, and whose beauty stands as the truest memorial to Rudolph Henny. Rudolph Henny was himself a contribution to the Society which was enriched by his quiet authority, his gentle forcefulness, and his contributions of knowledge and time so willingly made. To Rudolph Henny, a founding member, an untiring editor, an outstanding hybridizer, is presented, posthumously, the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society in recognition of his many achievements, and of the deep respect and admiration in which he is held by his associates in the Society.
1963 Gold Medal Award: Halfdan Lem
Recognition of great service is always a very pleasant task, and in honoring Halfdan Lem this evening with the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society, the satisfaction is made especially deep. To all of us he is known as a talented, imaginative plant hybridizer. To many of us he is a personal friend. To any one who has ever met and talked with him he is an enthusiastic connoisseur of rhododendrons whose vital interest cannot fail to rub off on those with whom he comes in contact. Few of us are favored with the world-wide contacts which Mr. Lem has established in his field of interest. From these, and through his efforts, have come to Northwest gardens in particular, but all gardens generally, knowledge and plant materials which have had inestimable impact. During World War II, Fred Rose in ravaged England preserved many of his creations by entrusting them to Mr. Lem. Dr. Clement Bowers has admired his work and once referred to him as the "Aberconway of America." Shipments of Lem plants go nationwide and improve the culture of rhododendrons wherever they are grown. The Seattle Chapter of this Society has been a great beneficiary of Lem's generosity, which has taken the shape of gifts of numberless plants, fine displays in shows and participation, in his own inimitable style, in many meeting programs. There are very few gardens which are not the richer for at least one of his creations, or gardeners who have not gained from him knowledge and encouragement. It has been said that the most precious gift which a man can give is that of years of his life In return then, for those years which you have given, Halfdan Lem, to rhododendron culture and improvement, we present to you the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society.
1963 Gold Medal Award: Paul Vossberg
It is our pleasure to present the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society to one of our members in recognition of his work of many years in successfully propagating and developing hardy rhododendrons. Starting at Hicks Nursery about 1915, a self-trained horticultural botanist, he has developed a remarkable knowledge and ability to identify rhododendron hybrids and species not only by their flowers but also by their leaves, buds, and habit of growth. His knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for rhododendrons he freely shares with all who are interested. In the late 1920's he started hybridizing rhododendrons and has been credited with many hardy varieties. In the middle 1940's he perfected a method of rooting cuttings of difficult and previously impossible to root rhododendron varieties. This achievement made it possible for many people to obtain and to enjoy choice rhododendrons in their gardens. Working with a small group of Rhododendron Society members he has traveled extensively to locate and select the best of the hundreds of widely distributed unnamed Dexter Hybrid rhododendrons. These he has successfully propagated 'and distributed for wider testing. Those who have worked with him in this project have found he has an uncanny ability to recognize and select magnificent, promising hardy hybrids. We are pleased to present the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society to Paul D. Vossberg.
1962 Gold Medal Award: Mrs. A. C. U. Berry
It is our pleasure this evening to present the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society to Mrs. A. C. U. Berry, an outstanding member of our Society and the first Woman to be so honored. She is widely known for her successful growing of species, not only of rhododendrons but of magnolias, gentians, primulas, lilies and dwarf alpine plants. She being regarded as an authority in both America and England is well known internationally for her horticultural achievements. Because of her love for species she has subscribed to every great plant hunting expedition from 1932 on down through the years and it is from these many expeditions that her garden is now embellished with unusual and rare plant materials. Growing species from seed has been her prime interest and a challenge to her ability to simulate the natural growing conditions required, by many. She has been extremely generous in contributing rhododendron species plants to the National Test Garden where they are a great source of beauty and will be appreciated by visitors for many years to come. And now to Mrs. A. C. U. Berry for her devotion to the cultivation of species, for her endless experiments with soils, for her willingness to help those who honestly search for information, for her unfailing support of our Society and for her outstanding contribution to horticulture it is our pleasure to present this Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society. October 18, 1962.
1962 Gold Medal Award: Dr. John Wister
Tonight at the Annual Meeting of the American Rhododendron Society we grant our highest honor, "The Gold Medal," to a man who by his writing, traveling, and speaking in the interests of rhododendrons has informed and encouraged amateur and professional growers of these plants. His work and journeys for the purpose of locating, identifying and propagating the finest Dexter hybrid rhododendrons are well known. Whenever possible he has through personal contact passed on to his fellow members in the Society his great enthusiasm for rhododendrons. Additionally, he has capably served in various official capacities in his chapter where he is most affectionately regarded. He is presently serving as Director both of the Arthur Hoyt Scott Horticultural Foundation at Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and of the John J. Tyler Arboretum at Lima, Pennsylvania, where he has assembled large collections of rhododendrons for testing, study, hybridizing, and display. In the vicinity of Swarthmore and Lima, and in the general area of the East, he is known as "Mister Rhododendron." In recognition of his contributions to the Society both nationally and locally, we are pleased to grant the American Rhododendron Society Gold Medal to Dr. John C. Wister of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
1961 Gold Medal Award: George Grace
Pioneering is always difficult, and the beginning years of the Society were strictly pioneering. Tonight we honor a person who perhaps had more to do with the starting of the American Rhododendron Society than any other single person. The Society takes great pleasure in granting its highest honor, "The Gold Medal" to its first Secretary. For the countless hours of tedious work in organization, and correspondence, and for the actual expenditure of many dollars of his own money in those early years we hereby, as a small measure of thanks, grant to George Grace the Gold Medal.
1961 Gold Medal Award: Del James
From an early date Del James has continuously gathered Rhododendron knowledge from a wide range of sources, both in this country and abroad. This information he has passed on to the members of his chapter, thereby greatly contributing to its interest, enthusiasm and growth. He has imported many choice Rhododendron species and hybrids in the form of plant material and pollen. These things and the products there-from not previously available here, he has shared generously. He was one of the charter members who founded the A.R.S. and was one of the first in his area to suggest organization and affiliation of the Eugene chapter of the National Society. On his visit to the British Isles he made direct contact with many of the foremost people in the Rhododendron world, gaining much valuable information especially in the field of breeding. As a result he has many fine hybrids in addition to those which have been exhibited, and for which he has received awards. He has been an important influence in the development and continual improvement of the Eugene Rhododendron Exhibition gardens at Hendricks Park, a great source of pride and enjoyment to the people of Eugene. With all, he has been a kind and gentle person, willing at all times to help, encourage and instruct younger members, thereby contributing to the strength and activity of the American Rhododendron Society in his area. We are pleased to grant the A.R.S. Gold Medal to Del James.
1958 Gold Medal Award: Guy Nearing
Honor citation not available.
1957 Gold Medal Award: Endre Ostbo
It is my pleasure this evening to present to a charter member of the American Rhododendron Society, and a member of the Seattle Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, the highest award that can be given, a gold medal for meritorious horticultural achievement, and in appreciation of the highest esteem held by all who have had the privilege of his acquaintance through the years he has ably done so much for the genus Rhododendron. A short biography has been furnished me by your president, Don K. McClure, which sums up as follows. Born in Norway, he came to the United States from Surna in 1912. His first home in this country was in Minneapolis, after which presumably the urge to move West prompted him to move to Montana and homestead there. During this period of his life, he joined the U.S. Army and served throughout World War I. After the close of the war, he settled in Everett, Washington, and worked in the Weyerhaeuser Mills there. In 1920 he was married to Benna Klubiness. It was during his residence in Everett that he became acquainted with James Clapp and entered his employ as head gardener. In that phase of his gardening career, he was primarily interested in dahlias and roses and won numerous awards exhibiting these flowers. In 1927, Mr. Clapp acquired a large estate in Medina and moved there. It is here that this man became interested in rhododendrons. The first plants which he exhibited publicly were dwarf varieties, which were shown in 1939 at the Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. This exhibit attracted considerable notice and won him several high awards. In 1937 he left the employ of Mr. Clapp and founded his own nursery business. His success in growing and hybridizing rhododendrons is well known to all of us. Some of his most important hybrids consist of 'Mrs. Donald Graham', 'King of Shrubs', Lily No. 1 and No. 3 and many others too numerous to mention. It suffices to say he has supported horticultural activities in the Seattle area with the greatest energy and generosity since 1937. To Endre Ostbo we owe much. Speaking of generosity, I well remember a trip made to Seattle and Bellevue a few years ago at his request to pick up a few plants he had desired to present to the Society Test Garden at Portland. The gift amounted to sixty-five splendid rhododendrons, which now are all specimen plants and attract much attention during the blooming season. This generosity I shall always remember and cherish. Will Mr. Ostbo come forward so that I may present him with this award, which so deservedly belongs to him. Presented by By A.R.S. President C. I. Sersanous
1954 Gold Medal Award: Joseph Rock
Be it resolved by the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society the award of the highest honor of the Society to Dr. Joseph Francis Rock in grateful acknowledgement of his horticultural work as a plant explorer and achievement in the discovery of new and valuable species of the genus Rhododendron. Your great accomplishments in Asia, made under hazardous expeditions into China and Tibet, often at the risk of life in a mountainous country having a difficult terrain; the privations and hardships encountered all make for recognition of America's foremost plant explorer. In appreciation of our esteem, our highest regard and affection, for your lifetime efforts in your contributions to the Horticultural World and to the American Rhododendron Society, this Gold Medal is awarded to you as its highest honor. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors. Portland, Oregon, April, 1954.
1953 Gold Medal Award: Joseph Gable
The American Rhododendron Society awards its highest honor, The Gold Medal, in grateful acknowledgment of thirty years of accomplishment in the investigation and hybridization of the Rhododendron genus. Your creation of hybrid azaleas of the obtusum subseries much hardier than any heretofore available, in a complete color range with a diversity of flower forms has been a triumph of the hybridist's art. The Gable hybrid Azaleas have been an important contribution to the horticulture of large areas of the country. Your hybrid rhododendrons represent an enormous advancement in quality for the Northeastern United States. They are the first rhododendrons commercially introduced since the importation of the Waterer hybrids from England in 1876 which promise to find a wide acceptance and an enduring place in American gardens. The Gold Medal Award is also made in consideration of your pioneer investigations of a multitude of Asian Rhododendron species and their hybrids to determine their adaptability to the climate of the Eastern United States. The hardy forms isolated in a score of species grown from seeds provided by collectors in Asia have enriched the horticultural resources of the East. To JOSEPH B. GABLE, for ethics of the highest standard, for humility of spirit and generosity of act, this Gold Medal formally marks the recognition by the AMERICAN RHODODENDRON SOCIETY of your many achievements as it also signifies the esteem, affection and appreciation of your associates in the Society. By unanimous action of the Board of Directors. Portland, Oregon, February 6, 1953
1952 Gold Medal Award: Claude Sersanous
I am sure that all of you are aware that the office of President of a National Society as ours is no small job. The duties of such an office are many, besides conducting meetings, which by the way is by far the smallest task, hours of driving, countless letters to answer (and the Secretary informs me that our President has assumed the cost of all his postage), the diligent application of tact to keep in good repair the harmonious relationship with the Commercial Growers, and his vital interest in the programs presented at these meetings.
Mr. Sersanous alone is responsible for the first moves of the Society to undertake the program of a Trial Garden. He worked quietly for months on this idea. It meant many visits to the City Hall, to the Park Bureau, the County Commissioner and finally to the City Council. Then with the approval of the City Council some two years ago the Garden for the Society became a reality. The American Rhododendron Society approved the action of this Garden and the committees were duly appointed. Upon inspection it was deemed wise by the committee to erect a cyclone type fence for the protection of valuable plant material. A Trial Garden fund was set up and the entire sum of $1500.00 was donated by your president. Later many items were needed, lumber for the shelter, material for the path system and walks, and much rare plant material. Though our president is most reluctant to make known any figures, I think it only just to announce that to this date over $1,000.00 has been contributed to the A.R.S. Trial Garden by Mr. Sersanous. For your actions, and by unanimous consent of the Board of Directors of The American Rhododendron Society I hereby present you, President Sersanous, with the first Gold Medal, The Supreme Award of the Society as a small token of our appreciation of your efforts.
Silver Medal Awardees
2019 Silver Medal Award: Marilyn Dawson
Marilyn Dawson is a valuable participant in all activities of MARS and ARS District 1. She worked on the ARS 2015 Convention in Victoria and the 2012 ARS Fall Conference in Nanaimo. She documents all meetings that she attends and is indispensable in planning for the 2019 ARS Fall Conference in Parksville BC. Marilyn was key in establishing the Greig Rhododendron Species Garden at Milner Gardens and Woodland. She continues to work in the garden, planting and maintaining new plants and guiding visitors. Marilyn is an exceptionally hard worker, contributing common sense and constructive suggestions in all that she does, and is therefore a very deserving recipient of the ARS Silver Medal.
2019 Silver Medal Award: Ian Efford
Your passion for plants in general and for the genus Rhododendron in particular has motivated you as a mentor, speaker and educator. In your many roles in the Cowichan Valley chapter, you have ensured its robust future and increased its profile throughout District 1. Your dynamic leadership has secured exceptional partnerships and spearheaded many initiatives, such as publishing your book on the public rhododendron gardens of Vancouver Island and being a significant contributor to JARS through a wide variety of article topics. For your exceptional contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Ian Efford.
2018 Silver Medal Award: Kristian Theqvist
For the past two decades you have been an active member of the Finnish Rhododendron Society and a talented writer and photographer in the Finnish Rhododendron Journal. You have been President of the Finnish Rhododendron Society since 2010 and have greatly improved the quality of its Journal. You initiated the effort to establish the Finnish Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and encouraged Finnish membership. You have been President of the Finnish Chapter since 2012. You succeeded in increasing the knowledge and connections between these two Rhododendron organizations. You are a revered speaker on issues of the genus Rhododendron. You interact with scientists and have contributed to the ploidy level research on species and hybrids from subsection Ledum. You also made more than 500 crosses in the past 15 years, and registered 9 of your Rhododendron cultivars. For your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal to Kristian Theqvist, May 25, Bremen, Germany.
2017 Silver Medal Award: Don Wallace
Over the past 27 years you have planted, propagated, and grown from seed many rhododendrons. You have hybridized rhododendrons with emphasis on fragrance and on new and exciting flower colors. Your hybrids are plants for all seasons as you have chosen plants that hold their leaves more than one year, creating fuller, more attractive plants when not in bloom. You have been invited to give your excellent programs with beautiful photography of gardens, flowers and plants to chapters from Washington to Central California. You generously share your knowledge with all who are interested. Your articles have also been featured in the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society. For these significant and lasting contributions the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Don Wallace.
2017 Silver Medal Award: Ken Webb
For more than two decades you have been a leading force in District One, promoting the genus Rhododendron. You have spent countless hours propagating cuttings with your wife Madeleine in your home-based facility, and then freely distributing rooted plants to every chapter. As District Director, you are respected for carefully thought out constructive comments and for your ability to attain cooperation between chapters. With your affable nature and your generosity you succeeded in increasing relationships between chapters. In revitalizing District One, you succeeded in making chapters more aware of their connection to the American Rhododendron Society. In recognition of your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal to Ken Webb.
2017 Silver Medal Award: Nicholas Yarmoshuk
You set the bar high as co-Chair of the enormously successful 1998 American Rhododendron Society Convention. More recently, you were a presenter at the 2012 Convention. As current Chair, ARS Test and Display Garden Committee, you launched a high-profile five year multi-site test project. Your passion for the genus Rhododendron motivates you as a mentor and educator. As a stalwart champion of the Niagara Chapter for the past 25 years, you have ensured its robust future while preserving its heritage. Your dynamic leadership has secured exceptional partnerships, attracted distinguished speakers, and spearheaded many initiatives. Fellow Board and Chapter members are inspired and encouraged by your acumen, vision and collaborative spirit. Further, you and your wife Wanda have nurtured an atmosphere of warm fellowship at Chapter events. For your extraordinary contributions the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Nicholas Yarmoshuk.
2015 Silver Medal Award: Terry Richmond
For more than 30 years you have been a stalwart devotee of the American Rhododendron Society, in particular District One. As a founding member of Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society and affiliate of many chapters, you have spent countless hours at workshops, truss shows and meetings in the interests of the genus. As a speaker, educator and author you have enthusiastically imparted information on the culture of rhododendrons. Your willingness to hold office, research, donate plants and work with colleagues from many chapters has contributed to the healthy growth of interest in rhododendrons. In recognition of this outstanding contribution to the genus Rhododendron, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Terry Richmond. May 9, 2015, Sidney, BC Canada.
2013 Silver Medal Award: Garth Wedemire
You have faithfully served the Chapters of District 1 and represented the interests of the American Rhododendron Society to a standard of excellence for more than 35 years. By using your many talents, you have been a soothing teacher, an aesthetic photographer, a masterful propagator, and a rational philosopher. You have been able to convey your ideas with a quiet and peaceful humility. Your webmaster abilities, photographic expertise, and your grace of lecturing have been invaluable to the Chapters in District 1. Our members feel both grateful and fortunate to have been the benefactors of your multifaceted talent. For your many contributions and your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal to Garth Wedemire.
2012 Silver Medal Award: Shirley and Allan Anderson
For well over forty years, you have researched the development of hybrids that are hardy for the Northeastern region of the United States. Your work has resulted in twenty registered crosses to date and identified a promising candidate for your goal of a hardy yellow. Your willingness to hold offices, donate plants and seeds, lecture, publish articles, judge flower shows, open your garden to tours, and collaborate with and encourage colleagues, has contributed to the viability and growth of the Tappan Zee Chapter. Your efforts have benefitted other Regional Chapters and added to the body of knowledge shared with your fellow hybridizers. In recognition of your distinctive contributions to the genus Rhododendron, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Shirley and Allan Anderson.
2012 Silver Medal Award: James S. Brant
For over a decade, you have focused your determined leadership on projects to protect and enhance the value of exceptional groups of North American azalea species in the Southern Appalachian Highlands. Your efforts helped obtain an aerial photograph of Gregory Bald for use in future comparisons and a mower for restoration of that bald, with spectacular results. You coordinated groups of ARS members and others to protect special azaleas found on Hooper Bald from competing vegetation. You also organized planting of nearby Huckleberry Bald with seedlings of exceptional forms of native azalea species. You have taken the botanical exploration a step further into conservation and preservation of these fascinating plants and made them more accessible to future visitors. For your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Silver Medal to James S Brant.
2012 Silver Medal Award: Stephen M. Henning
You have mastered the development of internet websites and used them effectively to inform and instruct the public about rhododendrons. Henning's Rhododendron and Azalea Pages was one of the earliest sources of on-line information. District 8 benefitted hugely from the website you developed for the 2009 Eastern Regional Conference. When a major historic azalea collection was announced for destruction, you took the initiative and created a website to focus activities to save it. Your efforts have stopped the pending destruction, helped raise monies for the continued preservation of the azaleas, and attracted U.S. Congressional support. For your outstanding contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Silver Medal to Stephen M Henning.
2010 Silver Medal Award: Paul Anderson, M.D.
You have served the American Rhododendron Society with distinction since you joined in 1964. You are a Life member and have served as president of the Eureka Chapter and California Chapter. You have served as District 5 Director and currently serve as chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee. You were instrumental in establishing two new chapters, Eureka and Hawaii. You have worked untold hours toward furthering the aspirations and goals of the ARS to the benefit of every society member who has had the pleasure of attending a meeting where you have given a program, or visiting your garden. For your years of untiring and dedicated service, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal Paul Anderson, M.D.
2010 Silver Medal Award: Werner Brack
You have been involved with the genus Rhododendron for 40 years having joined the ARS and the New York Chapter in 1971. Your activity in the Chapter led to your election as President. You were Director of District 7 and Treasurer of the Research Foundation. You have been an active hybridizer producing many rhododendrons that are excelling on the East Coast and are being tried in other locations throughout North America. You have been active at Regional Conferences as a worker and as Presenter at the Hybridizer's Round Tables. In recognition of your contributions to the genus and the ARS, your considerable knowledge of the plants and your willingness to share all of this with those who are interested, the ARS is pleased to present the Silver Medal to Werner Brack.
2010 Silver Medal Award: Chris Callard
For over a decade you have provided a valuable service to an international community who seek information on Vireya Rhododendrons with your website: www.vireya.net. By creating an easily accessible place to go for information on Vireyas, you have extended our knowledge and appreciation of these unique plants. You have been foremost in promoting their culture & history. Your website provides photos, articles and summary information not readily obtainable from other sources. You have generously given your time and energy to create and maintain this website. Your efforts are enjoyed and appreciated by all who visit www.vireya.net. For your significant contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Silver Medal award to Chris Callard.
2009 Silver Medal Award: Jean & Norman Beaudry
You are the consummate American Rhododendron Society member. You have been active members since 1975, serving the Society and its Chapters in your quiet, unassuming way. You have served in both official and behind-the-scenes capacities. You do it all, big and small, but most of all you share your expertise generously. Your 20-year work with the Sandwich Club to identify, propagate and distribute the Dexter and Cowles hybrids is unparalleled. Your database of some 1400 of these plants with data from 1967 is an invaluable tool for future generations interested in these significant East Coast rhododendrons.
2009 Silver Medal Award: Harry R Wright
For over two decades, you have been an ambassador for the genus Rhododendron and an avid promoter of membership and participation in the American Rhododendron Society. As founding member of the North Island Rhododendron Society, you have worked tirelessly as President and Director throughout the Chapter's history. You have been instrumental in the development of both your own "Haida Gold Gardens" with your wife Gwen, and the public "Comox Valley Rhododendron Garden", providing enjoyment to countless citizens and visitors. As a speaker, teacher, writer, propagator and hybridizer, you have ensured that rhododendrons maintain a high profile. As Director of District 1, your support of individual Chapters and encouragement of interactive sharing has emphasized both education and fellowship. You are in inspiration to all members of the American Rhododendron Society.
2008 Silver Medal Award: Marc Colombel
Your efforts "to educate" and "to promote" the genus Rhododendron are widely recognized by your peers and support major goals in the American Rhododendron Society's mission statement. You initiated enthusiasm for Rhododendrons in France by founding the Societe Brettone du Rhododendron in 1993. Through your creative and energetic leadership the Societe now has more than 160 members involved in many impressive activities. By authoring and publishing a book, writing ARS Journal articles and creating and maintaining an Internet Web Page in both French and English, you have provided valuable Rhododendron education internationally. You willingly volunteered to put the ARS Seed Exchange catalogue on the internet to facilitate the acquisition and distribution of Rhododendron seeds worldwide.
2008 Silver Medal Award: John Thornton
Since the early 1980's you have been a pioneer in hybridizing Rhododendrons that tolerate the heat & humidity of the southern states while still being hardy enough for most areas where they are grown. This has resulted in a large selection of hybrids that have disease resistance, drought resistance, & resistance to "root rot", a common problem in the Deep South. You have published your results and promoted the use of these hybrids by sharing your experience in numerous speeches, sharing plants and information at several public gardens, and always being available to answer questions. The world of horticulture is much the richer for your efforts.
2008 Silver Medal Award: June and Tim Walsh
Between the two of you, you have served at the Chapter level as president, vice president, treasurer, newsletter editor, and membership chair and at the board level as treasurer, alternate director and secretary. You have used your extraordinary leadership and organizational skills to help stage Western Regional conferences, a national ARS convention, and numerous chapter and regional events. You have shared your love and knowledge of Rhododendrons with countless people as true ambassadors of the Society. You have encouraged interest in and disseminated knowledge about the world of Rhododendrons in your many activities, including such projects as the Humboldt Botanical Gardens.
2007 Silver Medal Award: Wing Fong
For more than two decades you have provided outstanding service to the American Rhododendron Society by giving unstintingly of your time, your talent, your energy and your enthusiasm. You have contributed your professional skills as a graphic artist to design and produce brochures, advertising, sale catalogs, badges, labels, displays, CD’s, photographic albums, posters, signs & more. In addition, you have provided meaningful help and advice to the ARS Journal editor to improve the layout and design of that publication. Your work as Chairman of the ARS Program Library is another example of your on-going efforts to encourage interest in the genus Rhododendron.
2007 Silver Medal Award: George Keen McLellan
You have served as an American Rhododendron Society chapter president, director, and committee chair; put on meetings, given talks and slide shows, written newsletter and Journal articles with photos and had garden tours. More importantly you have taken on the long-term project of locating Eastern North American native azalea species and forms, and documenting and photographing them in their natural habitats. You have traveled from New England to Florida, along the coast and in the mountains, in often difficult locations. You have led many tours and described these plants through talks, written articles, photos, and personal interaction thus rekindling and enhancing interest in and preservation of these Rhododendron species here and throughout the world.
2007 Silver Medal Award: Robert "Mitch" Mitchell
You are the driving force behind the Hawaii Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Under your guidance the Hawaii Chapter has hosted three international Vireya seminars and a national convention. Your enthusiasm, generosity, and love for Vireya Rhododendrons is infectious. You have created a worldwide network where questions, comments, photos and ideas can be shared. For many of us you opened a whole new world. Your passion for Vireyas has taken you into hybridizing and your crosses now exceed sixty. You are a major contributor of Vireya seeds distributed widely by the Hawaii Chapter. You’ve also created two Vireya gardens. The first is your personal garden at your home in Volcano Village. The second is located at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens where the Vireya species section is filled with your donated plants.
2006 Silver Medal Award: Joseph Parks
For half a century you have been producing hardy, floriferous rhododendrons and azaleas for the chillier parts of the Northeast. You have developed rhododendrons with gorgeous foliage and blooms and deciduous azaleas resistant to mildew and sawfly larvae. Many of your plants are registered and now in production in the Northeast. Your six-acre garden, with over a thousand rhododendrons and azaleas, is an inspiration to cold climate gardeners. You consider education about the genus to be crucial and have published many articles for both the connoisseur and the general public. You have conducted an extensive hardiness survey to support your hybridizing. You have been active in your chapter and served as its president. For your many accomplishments, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Silver Medal to Joseph "Joe" Parks.
2004 Silver Medal Award: Virginia (Tim) Craig
Your efforts in promoting the American Rhododendron Society and the genus have been exceptional. As District 6 Director you ably represented the interests of your district, facilitated communication between the chapters, and actively supported and encouraged new chapters. You distinguished yourself on the ARS Research Foundation and the ARS Public Relations Committee. In representing the Society, you have always focused on the goal of increasing membership. Your leadership in chapter projects such as the "Plants for Members" became an example followed by chapters along the East Coast and Canada. You were instrumental in the distribution of scions of rare and commercially unobtainable plants through your connections and travels to these chapters. For your major accomplishments, service, and enthusiasm, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to present the Silver Medal to Virginia (Tim) Craig.
2004 Silver Medal Award: Bob Dickhout
You have made many major contributions to District 12, Rhododendron Society of Canada. For many years you have been a member of the National Executive, RSC, and dedicated much time and energy to ensure the well being of the organization's infrastructure. As Treasurer, you recorded memberships for all three chapters of the RSC, sent out renewal notices, and wrestled with the attendant bookkeeping. You helped ensure the flow of revenue to the National to support its funding needs by striking an alliance with the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario and its annual plant sale. This effort has also helped expose the genus Rhododendron to more plant lovers. You have guided the Society through Revenue Canada tax audits. You have managed the annual flower show and given many talks throughout Southern Ontario on various aspects of rhododendron culture using your formal education in agricultural science to enhance these talks. For your selfless contributions and exceptional service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Bob Dickhout.
2004 Silver Medal Award: Harry L. Wise
You have provided outstanding service to the Society for many years and ably promoted the genus Rhododendron. You have served in the chapter offices and as District 9 Director. You have helped secure a permanent repository of ARS records. You have worked to find financial resources for the Society. Your Chapter seedling sales evidence considerable personal effort towards this goal. Most of all you have induced an environment where people can get involved with rhododendrons and each other. You facilitated this through the gardens you have helped establish and the many talks and workshops you have conducted throughout Virginia, West Virginia and surrounding states. For your exceptional service and significant accomplishments the American Rhododendron Society gratefully presents the Silver Medal to Harry L. Wise.
2003 Silver Medal Award: Richard "Dick" Cavender
Through the years you have demonstrated an enduring commitment to the genus Rhododendron. You have served locally as chapter treasurer, vice-president, president and board member. You have designed and managed numerous educational and promotional displays at area garden shows. You have managed phenomenal plant sales at regional and Society meetings. In every activity you have reached out to non-members to acquaint them with your favorite genus and bring them into the Society. You served with energy and vigor as District Director visiting district chapter meetings frequently. You have never undertaken any task locally or on a Society level without giving it your utmost energy and enthusiasm. You have participated in the ARS seed exchange program and have developed and registered several rhododendrons. You have been a firm supporter in the preservation of the historic Cecil and Molly Smith Garden. For your outstanding contributions to the genus Rhododendron, the American Rhododendron Society gratefully presents the Silver Medal to Richard "Dick" Cavender.
2003 Silver Medal Award: Norman Todd
Your dedication to the genus Rhododendron and your support of the American Rhododendron Society has been outstanding. Your interest is contagious. Your knowledge makes you a sought after speaker, and your leadership has been instrumental in the formation of five chapters within District 1. Your written word has graced the pages of publications ranging from local newsletter to international journals. You have taken on all responsibilities from chapter executive to the international Director of Chapters at Large. You co-chaired the 1989 ARS annual convention which produced an attendance record that has yet to be equaled. You have always given freely of your time, your talents, and your plants. You are, unequivocally, an outstanding diplomat for the American Rhododendron Society and the genus Rhododendron. With grateful appreciation, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Norman Todd.
2002 Silver Medal Award: Donald Hyatt
Your lifelong passion for the genus Rhododendron and personal commitment to spreading that passion to future generations of plant enthusiasts is outstanding. Your energy is limitless. You are a hybridizer, a sought-after speaker, an accomplished photographer and artist, an author of numerous articles in the Journal, The Azalean, and chapter newsletters, and a recognized expert on deciduous azaleas and East Coast natives. As a member you have done whatever was needed serving as tour guide, flower show judge, program organizer, alternative district director, district director, and four-time chapter president and helping with registration, seed exchange, and table favors. At your own time and expense, you created an incredible multi-facet website that educates, delights, and promotes rhododendrons and the Society. For these contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Donald W. Hyatt.
2002 Silver Medal Award: Eleanor Philp
Your contribution to the mission of the American Rhododendron Society has been exceptional. Through your brilliant photography, your lectures and your organizational service to the Society, you've helped foster local and national appreciation of the genus Rhododendron. Your long career as a rhododendron nursery owner has promoted the popularity of rhododendrons. Your years of dedicated service tot he Society began with your participation in forming the Noyo Chapter and your presence at its chartering. You have since served in almost every office from Chapter President to Alternate District Director. For your remarkable service and creative activity, The American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Eleanor Philp.
2001 Silver Medal Award: Forrest Bump, M.D.
Your keen interest, knowledge and leadership have greatly benefited the American Rhododendron Society and its members. You have stimulated formation of chapters, supported their activities, and recruited new members. You have led study groups, chapter meetings, and other horticultural gatherings. You have supported efforts to open rhododendron gardens to the public. You have traveled to the heartland of the genus Rhododendron, generously shared your choice plants and cuttings, written excellent articles about rhododendrons, and elevated interest in rhododendrons wherever you have gone. For these exceptional contributions the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Forrest E. Bump, M. D.
2001 Silver Medal Award: John Hammond
You have been active in the American Rhododendron Society for many years. Your first foray into its administration was as a convention manager for the 1996 Oban Convention. This was no mean task, being the first convention organized by an offshore chapter. The logistics of fitting 600 delegates into this small Scottish town called for great skill. You and your team met this challenge and achieved a very successful convention. You later took on the office of secretary and treasurer of the Scottish Chapter and continue to fulfill these duties with great dedication. This can be a daunting task with a chapter covering most of the British Isles where members travel as much as 300 miles to attend a meeting. More recently you adopted a wider role serving as first Alternate Director at Large and currently as Director at Large. For these contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to John Hammond.
2000 Silver Medal Award: Dave Dougan
Your dedication to the genus Rhododendron and your support of the American Rhododendron Society for the past forty-five years has been outstanding. The start of the Cowichan Valley Chapter was due in a large part to your efforts. You have always been very willing to give talks and slide shows to other chapters, and share your garden with countless visitors showing them what a splendid rhododendron garden can look like. You have unselfishly shared your time and knowledge which has served as an example for us all. Your joy and love of rhododendrons is contagious. You always have a smile and a story on your lips that allows you to "connect" with people. You have given freely of your talent and plants and are a wonderful representative for the rhododendron family. With grateful appreciation for your years of sharing in so many ways, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Dave Dougan.
2000 Silver Medal Award: Clint Smith
You have been an active advocate for the American Rhododendron Society and done much to promote its advancement. You are an outstanding authority on the genus and with your knowledge are much sought after as a speaker, at the local, regional, national, and international level. New enthusiasts and old-timers alike have enjoyed your talks on rhododendron history, hybridizing, culture, and landscaping. You have used these engagements to promote the Society by cultivating new memberships, nurturing new chapters, and supporting the Seed Exchange as well as holding a variety of chapter offices. Your effort on behalf of the Rhododendron Species Foundation has been tireless. Your joy and love of rhododendrons is contagious. You have a ready smile and an outgoing personality that allows you to "connect" with people. You have given freely of your time, talent, and plants. For your outstanding service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal to Clint Smith.
1999 Silver Medal Award: John G. Lofthouse
In the exciting world of rhododendron hybridizing, you have dared to be different. The genes in your crosses are now appearing in new hybrids made and registered by others. You have willingly shared your propagating and selective crossing knowledge through articles in the ARS Journal, the Slide Library, lectures, and participation in the Hybridizers Round Table sessions. You were even recognized by the Smithsonian Institution in one of their publications. Your efforts have encouraged new enthusiasts to follow in your footsteps. You have received international recognition for your plant contributions to private and public collections in England, Europe, New Zealand, Japan, and North America. Now that many of your crosses are in tissue culture, these unusual plants are more widely available to collectors. For your valuable contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal to John G. Lofthouse.
1998 Silver Medal Award: Sophia Maitland
Her love of gardens, rhododendrons, and people was demonstrated by the success of her many efforts in introducing others to these joys. Her strong leadership in the Society's activities over the years culminated in her service as president of the Rhododendron Society of Canada during its affiliation with the American Rhododendron Society. Her efforts were instrumental in the selection of Niagara Falls, Canada, as the location for the 1998 annual convention. With grateful memories for her many accomplishments and service, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the Silver Medal posthumously to Sophia Maitland.
1998 Silver Medal Award: June Sinclair
our dedication and commitment to the genus Rhododendron has been extraordinary. Your enthusiasm, support, and generosity to the rhododendron community is second to none. Gardens all over the world have benefited from your bountiful gesture. Your are undoubtedly the number one rhododendron ambassadress from the northwest. With grateful recognition and pride for your many years of valuable service and unselfish contributions. The American Rhododendron Society is proud to award the silver medal to June Sinclair.
1997 Silver Medal Award: Ken and Dot Gibson
For the past 20 years you both have unselfishly given time, energy, and resources to promote the genus Rhododendron. Your dedication and enthusiasm have inspired interest and a desire for knowledge about propagation, care and cultivation of rhododendrons. Your leadership helped stimulate the tremendous growth in District 1 membership over the last several years. Your warm hospitality and generosity, to your peers, friends, and visitors from around the world, is renowned. You have each made significant individual contributions and worked well as a team. His persistent dedication studying the cause and effect of powdery mildew on rhododendrons and sharing this knowledge is widely recognized and appreciated. Her organizational skills, warm support, and encouragement have been an important part of the teamwork supporting their accomplishments. The development of your breathtaking "hill top" rhododendron garden, which you have gladly and willingly opened to all, is an admirable feat of dedication, hard work, and perseverance. Your efforts have been an inspiration to rhododendron enthusiasts and instrumental in encouraging hundreds to visit your West Coast garden. In grateful recognition of your contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Silver Medal to "ambassadors extraordinaire" Ken and Dot Gibson.
1997 Silver Medal Award: Lynn Watts
Your efforts, over the years, on behalf of the genus Rhododendron and for those who grow these beautiful plants, are outstanding. You have delivered lectures about your experience and knowledge in growing rhododendrons and your travels to most of the chapters in Washington and British Columbia. You have generously supplied your rhododendrons to many of these chapters to give their members an opportunity to grow these exceptional plants. Your efforts have helped to greatly increase ARS members' knowledge and appreciation of rhododendrons. You have spoken at ARS conventions on both the East Coast and West Coast of North American and in New Zealand. Your presentations on the smaller species are especially outstanding. You have made a host of good friends wherever you have gone. Your articles, printed in many chapter newsletters and in the ARS Journal, have been very informative and were well received. For your many valuable contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal to Lynn Watts.
1996 Silver Medal Award: John Basford
For more than thirty years, at Brodick Castle Gardens, you cared for and greatly expanded one of the world's finest collections of rhododendrons, and you have shared your expertise with lovers of rhododendrons from the four corners of the earth. With great generosity, you provided seed, pollen and cuttings to the American Rhododendron Society, the Rhododendron Species Foundation, and to countless gardens and individuals in many lands. Your hospitality and help have been freely given to all; your vast knowledge and your dedication have inspired others. It is with great pride that the American Rhododendron. Society present the Silver Medal to John Basford.
1996 Silver Medal Award: Gert Petersen
You have for over a decade managed and contributed to the Danish Chapter seed exchange. At the same time you worked with the American Rhododendron Society seed chairman to eliminate the distribution of open pollinated seed. Your species seeds are highly sought after by seed growers. Your lectures on propagation are most helpful to all. You were a driving force behind the 1994 Danish Sikkim expedition. As a method of detecting species that are actually hybrids, your research on pollen viability, as well as DNA analysis, has much promise. For all your generous and gifted efforts the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Silver Medal to Gert Forum Petersen.
1995 Silver Medal Award: Dr. Bob Rhodes
Your efforts over the years on behalf of the genus Rhododendron and for the those who grow these magnificent plants are outstanding. You have sought out and collected the finest of both rhododendron species and hybrids. In addition, you have developed many new beautiful hybrids. You have graciously shared these plants with all who have walked the garden pathways with you. You have spent countless hours serving with distinction as an executive at various levels for the ARS Vancouver Chapter and the Rhododendron Species Foundation. There is little doubt that the rapid growth of ARS chapters in District 1 is due, in no small part, to your leadership, and to the generous sharing of your expertise. For your many valuable contributions, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to award the Silver Medal to Dr. Bob Rhodes.
1994 Silver Medal Award: Edward W. Collins
You have been a remarkably active member of the American Rhododendron Society for many years, beginning with the Philadelphia Chapter, where you became president and chairman of the 1976 annual meeting of the Society in Valley Forge. You were a founding member and the first president of the Pine Barrens Chapter; the first director of District 8; and are now an officer in the Southeastern Chapter. You have been an enthusiastic leader, devoted to imparting your knowledge and skills to members and the public at large. You have studied the Wister-Swarthmore-Dexter hybrids at Tyler Arboretum, and have explored undeveloped areas of the Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, Massachusetts, identifying superior plants in both of these areas for further study, evaluation, and propagation. By your enthusiasm you have involved other members in this study, eventually leading to the formation of the Sandwich Club. You have given freely of your time and talent for the genus Rhododendron. In recognition of this, the American Rhododendron Society is honored to award the Silver Medal to Edward W. Collins.
1993 Silver Medal Award: Parker Smith
You have tireless[y promoted the use and enjoyment of rhododendrons at the local and regional level through professional lectures, demonstrations, and displays. Your broad knowledge of the genus, your expertise in hybridizing, your willingness to work, and your talent as a landscape architect have been invaluable to the California District. You helped found the Redwood Chapter and have worked as a dedicated volunteer in the California Chapter. At the national level you have served as both alternate and director of District 5. To express our great appreciation for all your wonderful work and enthusiasm, the American Rhododendron Society awards its Silver Medal to Parker Smith.
1992 Silver Medal Award: J. Judson Brooks
You have sustained an unwavering interest in the genus Rhododendron; acted on your knowledge that efforts to promote the genus revolve around funding; exercised your management ability to establish organizations that research and develop new methods and ideas; and used your fund raising talents to further these programs. You have made continued efforts to increase public awareness of your favorite genus through your active participation in many horticultural organizations. You, Jud Brooks, have been our friend. To show our appreciation for your many contributions, the American Rhododendron Society, is pleased to present you its Silver Medal, J. Judson Brooks.
1992 Silver Medal Award: John (Jack) Cowles
In a relatively brief period 30 years ago, you selected and named a group of important overlooked Dexter hybrids, used them with superior rhododendrons from other sources to create an extraordinary body of unique hybrids on the former Dexter Estate. You continued with your wife Eveleth, also a graduate horticulturist, to provide significant guidance to members of the rapidly developing Massachusetts Chapter, to freely share your knowledge and skills, and to inspire many of your chapter members with your enthusiasm. It is for these reasons that the American Rhododendron Society proudly awards you its Silver Medal to John (Jack) Cowles.
1991 Silver Medal Award: Raymond (Curt) Huey
Few have ever served a chapter and region so effectively for so long. His enthusiasm and expertise complemented by outstanding leadership and organizational abilities were major reasons for an expanded knowledge of rhododendrons and the success of the American Rhododendron Society in the area. Generous, innovative, friendly, and dedicated, he left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to know him. The Officers and members of the American Rhododendron Society, gratefully award its Silver Medal Award, posthumously, to Raymond (Curt) Huey.
1990 Silver Medal Award: E. White Smith
Your contributions to the Tacoma Chapter, District III of the American Rhododendron Society, the Rhododendron Species Foundation, the International Rhododendron Union, and to the genus Rhododendron, particularly the Vireya malesians, for so many years have been truly exceptional. With grateful appreciation, the officers and members of the American Rhododendron Society award its Silver Medal to E. White Smith.
1989 Silver Medal Award: Harold A. Johnson
It would be difficult to find anyone anywhere who has made more impact on an area than you. Your enthusiastic and effective promotion of the American Rhododendron Society and the genus Rhododendron; your love for the area and its people; your ability as a leader and organizer, and your infectious friendliness all make you an outstanding person. With admiration and gratitude, the Officers and Members of the American Rhododendron Society award the Silver Medal to Harold A. Johnson this 29th day of April, 1989.
1988 Silver Medal Award: Sandra McDonald, Ph.D.
Through your dedication and service to the American Rhododendron Society, you have promoted the goals of the organization at national, regional, and local levels. As chair of the Editorial Committee, you have encouraged a technical balance to ARS publications that has elevated the scientific status of the Journal within the horticultural community. Your guidance on the Research Committee has helped chart the course of current rhododendron research. You have capably served the Society as national director, editorial advisor, chapter officer, committee chair, and consultant. You have enriched both the nursery trade and the hobbyist garden with outstanding selections from your hybridizing program. You have generously shared your plants, your time and your expertise in countless ways. You are a model of excellence and achievement. It is with great pride that the Officers and Directors of the American Rhododendron Society award the Silver Medal to you, Dr. Sandra McDonald.
1987 Silver Medal Award: Bruce Briggs
As a nurseryman, your innovativeness and management ability have contributed immensely to the distribution and popularization of the genus Rhododendron. You have become a recognized leader in your field. As significant as your business achievements are, they are no more important to our society than your contributions as a person. You have given freely of your time, your experience, and your plants. Few members have served their fellowmen better. It is with grateful appreciation that the Officers and Directors of the American Rhododendron Society awards its Silver Medal to Bruce Briggs.
1985 Silver Medal Award: Robert Badger
Few persons have so ably served their region and its members in the promotion of the genus Rhododenndron. You have held virtually every office locally and regionally; directed national and regional meetings; and fostered many special activities. Your leadership, dedication and helpfulness over many years has been outstanding. For your contributions, the American Rhododendron Society gratefully awards the Silver Medal to Robert L. Badger this 4th day of May, 1985.
1985 Silver Medal Award: Edwin Brockenbrough, M.D.
As a leader and co-worker, as a hybridizer and innovator; as a speaker and teacher you have contributed so much to the genus Rhododendron in your area. You have served so well in so many ways over many years. You have enriched and helped many by action, example, and friendship. It is with gratitude, the American Rhododendron Society Silver Medal is presented to Dr. Edwin C. Brockenbrough this 4th day of May, 1985.
1984 Silver Medal Award: H. Furman Cantrell, Ph.D.
It would be difficult to find another ARS member who is more deserving of recognition for contributions on a regional level. In addition to substantial contributions in many and varied activities and offices for your Chapter and your area over a long period of time, you conceived, nurtured and brought to fruition an outstanding regional conference that is now the standard for such meetings. You have contributed generously and unselfishly of your time and experience as a hybridizer, propagator, author, and speaker. You were recently appointed Chairman of the Membership Committee of the ARS where your unique skills will have national impact. It is with sincere gratitude the the Silver Medal is presented to H. Furman Cantrell, Ph.D.
By unanimous approval of the Directors of the American Rhododendron Society this 28th day of April, 1984.
1982 Silver Medal Award: Peter E. Girard, Sr.
You are a rare human being! Few persons, in any field have contributed so much to the enrichment of others in so many ways over such a long period of time with so little concern for personal recognition. A recital of your accomplishments is almost endless; as hybridizer, plantsman, business leader, speaker, show judge, teacher, they are but the tip of the iceberg. Your contributions, to name a few, include being involved in about every activity of your chapter since its inception, playing a key role in establishing the rhododendron display test garden at the Secrest Arboretum, and unselfishly donating plant material for countless causes. Perhaps the best measure of your love of people and plants and your vision is that you frequently give illustrated talks on hybridizing of rhododendrons and azaleas to school children. These surely are a measure of your stature as a human being. With our grateful thanks, it is a pleasure to award the American Rhododendron Society's Silver Medal to Peter E. Girard, Sr. The Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society, Wash. D.C. May 1982.
1981 Silver Medal Award: Everett Farwell, Jr.
Because of your great interest in the cultivation and distribution of the genus Rhododendron in California and the Northwest, you joined the American Rhododendron Society in 1948 and traveled to Portland to attend the meetings. In 1951 you were elected to the National Board of Directors, and with their encouragement, you established the California Chapter in 1952, serving as its Founding President. Over this span of 33 years, you have joined several local chapters and contributed unselfishly to each of them. You have shown devotion in many ways, but most importantly, in giving freely of your expert advice to untold numbers of enthusiasts regarding the planting and care of Rhododendrons in the varied soil and climatic conditions of the Pacific Southwest. For this service to the residents of our Western States and to all growers of the genus Rhododendron, the American Rhododendron Society is proud to present the Silver Medal to Everett Farwell.
1981 Silver Medal Award: Velma and Charles Haag
You have been active as a team at all levels of the Society, serving on Committees, judging, presenting programs, setting up educational displays, serving as officers, and maintaining consistent attendance as members or Charier members of three Chapters for nearly thirty years. You have jointly acted in establishing, funding, and planting a seven acre display garden where over 5,000 plants are maintained and displayed for public enjoyment. As Hybridizers, you have made innumerable crosses, developing superior clones. After extensive evaluation, these have been registered and made available to the membership. Your extensive knowledge of the Genus, acquired through actual experience, travel, and wide correspondence, has been shared freely with others. The American Rhododendron Society is proud to present the Silver Medal to Velma and Charles Russell Haag.
1980 Silver Medal Award: Robert Gartrell
Robert Gartrell has devoted a lifetime to the patient hybridizing, extensive testing and careful selection which has culminated in the Robin Hill Azaleas development for which he has won national and international recognition. The Robin Hill Azaleas exhibit large blooms of soft pastel colors in late May-early June on nicely mounded, hardy plants with beautiful foliage. Through his generosity, collections of these fine azaleas now exist at the National Arboretum, Callaway Gardens, Planting Field Arboretum, Tyler Arboretum in the U.S.A., Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. As a member of the National Evergreen Azalea Committee, he prepared a detailed paper describing his method of hybridizing and propagating. In grateful appreciation, the American Rhododendron Society is honored to present the Silver Medal to Robert D. Gartrell.
1979 Silver Medal Award: George W. Ring, III
For his energetic leadership, in his chapter, in his region and at the national level. He is a prime mover in almost every chapter activity. He is in demand as a speaker at many chapters, he is a catalyst for the exchange of plants and knowledge at all levels. He is a member of the national Board of Directors, a regular contributor to the quarterly bulletin, the seed exchange and the Breeder's Roundtable. For his contribution in recording the hybridizing work of Joseph Gable, it was he who organized the Gable Study group whose work was a major contribution to the book, "Hybrids & Hybridizers". For his unending search for beauty in rhododendrons and Azaleas, as a collector, a grower and hybridizer. His friends are legion and he is the friend of all who strive to expand the knowledge and the love of the genus Rhododendron. The American Rhododendron Society presents the Silver Medal to George W. Ring III.
By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society. 19 May 1979.
1979 Silver Medal Award: Thomas Koenig
In recognition of your outstanding work with the genus Rhododendron during your twenty years of membership in the American Rhododendron Society; as a charter member of the Princeton Chapter and with memberships in New Jersey, New York, Tappan Zee, Valley Forge, Philadelphia and the Middle Atlantic chapters, you have served us well. In acknowledgement of your service on the national Board of Directors, the national committee on Shows and Judging and your dedicated work in the various chapters, judging shows, contributing plants, pollen and cuttings. Particularly important has been your active participation in chapter affairs, assuming many tasks and performing them well. In gratitude for your generosity in sharing your garden; for keeping meticulous records and tirelessly collecting data concerning Rhododendron culture; for your many prize winning entries that have so often been the feature attraction at our shows and for your personal commitment as a discerning collector, to searching out and sharing the better, newer plants from all over the United States. In appreciation for all of this but most especially for the inspiration, help and guidance provided to so many, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present its Silver Medal to Thomas W. Koenig.
By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of The American Rhododendron Society. 17 February 1979.
1978 Silver Medal Award: Sidney Burns
You became President of the fledgling New York Chapter and worked to see it become one of the largest chapters in the American Rhododendron Society. Through your leadership, direction and personal commitment, informational displays were entered in a great many flower shows. Booklets, dealing with the successful cultivation of rhododendrons, were prepared by you, or under your guidance, to be offered to the gardening public at these shows. Every chapter in the region gained new members as a result of these displays. Your garden is an inspiration to all rhododendron enthusiasts, not only for its beauty, but also as a source of pollen and cuttings from rare rhododendrons, both species and hybrids. These you have generously supplied to gardeners all over the world. Your collection of outstanding hybrid seedlings has saved many fine clones from extinction. By propagation, you have made it possible for others to enjoy them in their own gardens. Your leadership on the local, regional and national level, as speaker, coordinator and as a member of the Board of Directors has given direction to us all. The American Rhododendron Society is proud to present the Silver Medal for the dedicated service of Sidney V. Burns, member of the New York Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society.
By unanimous action of the Board of Directors of the American Rhododendron Society. 20 May 1978.
1976 Silver Medal Award: Ernest Yelton, M.D.
Since acting as cofounder of the Southeastern Chapter in 1957, you have contributed vigorously and consistently to the Society, and to the advancement of the practical understanding of the rhododendron culture in the Southeastern United States. You have served as president of your local chapter and have been a frequent show judge and speaker throughout the region. Through contributions to the Bulletin, you have been able to share your knowledge gained through long personal experience as a hybridizer and grower of rhododendrons. In assisting in the formation of the Piedmont Chapter, acting as program chairman of the 1967 National Convention in Asheville, North Carolina, and in the wide distribution of your own plant material, you have given generously of yourself. You continue to do so as a frequent contributor to the Seed Exchange and as a member of the National Board of Directors. The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present its Silver Medal to Ernest H. Yelton, M.D.
1975 Silver Medal Award: H. H. Davidian
For your lifetime of interest and effort in the organization and dissemination of information regarding the genus Rhododendron, we are deeply grateful. Admirers of rhododendrons throughout the world have honored you by spontaneously acclaiming you the outstanding authority in taxonomy of rhododendrons. Your willingness to lecture regarding Rhododendrons and to devote your time to assisting others in identification of species plants is well known. Your contributions in the judging of rhododendron shows are legend. Your writings regarding the taxonomy of rhododendrons are without equal. No summary of your achievements and contributions could transcend, or even add to, the honor previously bestowed upon you by the respect accorded those achievements and contributions. In recognition of that honor, your contributions to the knowledge of rhododendrons, and your gracious assistance to those who would enlarge their own knowledge; The American Rhododendron Society expresses its appreciation and in symbolism thereof is pleased to present its Silver Medal to H. H. Davidian.
By unanimous action of the Board of Directors on this 17 day of May 1975.
1975 Silver Medal Award: Marie C. Grula
For more than a decade you have given freely of your unique talents and skills to the service of the Society. During this period of time great improvements in communications within the Society and among its chapters have strengthened the organization and solidified the truly national aspects of the Society. Even if they were purely mechanical functions, the thousands of communications that you have written for the Society would be noteworthy. Your contribution become truly meaningful because on your own initiative you have devoted much personal time and effort to familiarize yourself with the general aspects of the genus Rhododendron, mastered its technical eccentricities, and exhibited a warm and direct interest in the projects and progress of the Society and the interests of individual members, directors, and officers. Your devoted service will be most difficult to replace because of the long continuity established. Your deep commitment, personal support and guidance will be particularly missed. The American Rhododendron Society expresses its appreciation to you and in symbolism thereof is pleased to present its Silver Medal to Marie C. Grula.
By unanimous action of the Board of Directors on this 17th day of May 1975.
1969 Silver Medal Award: Rocco Cappelli
Rocco Capelli, his natural love of plants, his special interest in Rhododendrons, his willingness to exhibit commercial displays, and his ability to sell Rhododendrons for many years at his Hillside Nursery earns him the Silver Medal. He had shown an interest in Rhododendrons when they were first available in the Northwest. Since then he has accumulated a wide range of varieties and grown all sizes for retail, wholesale, and landscape sales. His interest includes other plant material complimentary to the thousands of Rhododendrons and Azaleas he has sold. The love for the plants he grows guarantees that they are dug with exceptional care and will thrive for many years in customers' landscapes.
Each year Rocco displayed at the Rhododendron Shows, using his best blooming plants to make the public aware of the many varieties available. He was always ready to help set up the Society's displays at local Garden Shows, picking up plants from various sources, helping to landscape the displays to show them to the best advantage, and returning exhibits to their owners. Rocco has a "green thumb" and has been an excellent promoter of this genus, as his sales will testify. His many satisfied customers will remember his friendliness and sincerity because he did not just sell plants, but sold colorful plant personalities. Past retirement age, he has continued to sell the plants he loves best and still displays a weathered sign that promotes this National Society. His extensive and practical knowledge and experience with Rhododendrons means that more plants are available to home owners and gardeners. Instead of cutting down his work load, he has persistently kept his sales yard filled with the best plant material available.
To Rocco Capelli we award the Silver Medal, May 10, 1969.
Pioneer Achievement Award Awardees
2019 Pioneer Achievement Award: Charles Owen Dexter
The 75 years that have passed since Charles Owen Dexter's death validates the importance of his accomplishments. He was the first to realize East Coast gardeners needed hardy rhododendrons better suited to the extremes of their climate than the twentieth-century varieties that were sensations in the British Isles and Pacific Northwest. Along with Gable and Nearing he produced hardier plants with wonderful flowers. Dexter produced them in far greater quantities than any others. His legacy is preserved in Dexter rhododendron collections at Heritage Museums & Gardens, Tyler Arboretum, Scott Arboretum, Jenkins Arboretum, and other major gardens. Gardeners along the Atlantic Coast and inland to the Great Lakes owe to Dexter thanks for all that he did to give them the beauty of his rhododendrons. Presented this 18th of May 2019.
2018 Pioneer Achievement Award: Jim Barlup
"I DWELL IN POSSIBILITIES." In every human there is a need to know. The questions of who, what, why and how are instinctive and are a force within our very existence. What makes one person search half their lifetime to answer these questions and then to excel in their chosen field of interest? A very special human has taken these questions and created a plethora of answers. Your research is groundbreaking, making way for further study. Your body of work speaks for itself. Your benevolence is most admirable. Your friends are worldwide. You have created an example of a cross-border, cross-country, cross-nation legacy by donating the majority of your creations to the Victoria Rhododendron Society. You have demonstrated an example of what others can do and follow. Your gift of graciousness knows no bounds. The American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Pioneer Achievement Award to Jim Barlup, May 26, 2018.
2013 Pioneer Achievement Award: Jay and Robert Murray
For 27 years, Jay and Robert Murray have functioned as liaison with the Royal Horticultural Society processing over 3,000 applications for cultivar registration. However, their contributions go far beyond the registration process, as their efforts extended to helping hybridizers in the development of new plants, in taxonomic studies, and in the creation of a method of systematizing associated data in a digital database when digitization was in its infancy. Their stewardship of this core Society function has earned the Murrays the ARS Gold Medal, RHS Loder Cup, and the approbation of the many Society members they have so well served in this capacity. Recognizing the breadth, scope and fundamental value of this legacy, Jay and Robert are true pioneers in this domain.
2011 Pioneer Achievement Award: Edward John Penberthy Magor
Edward John Perberthy Magor 1874-1941, received seed from the early-20th Century plant collectors, and was a founder member of the Rhododendron Society in London in 1916. He regularly communicated with Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour of the R.B.G, Edinburgh in connection with the taxonomy and naming of the newly introduced species. He was one of the earliest to hybridize with the newly introduced species and made 2044 crosses, of which around 100 are named. From 1901 onwards he developed the renowned Lamellen Garden in Cornwall, which is now cared for by the third generation of the Magor Family. Respectfully known as "Mr. Magor", he was mentor to a brotherhood of early rhododendron pioneers including George Fraser, James E. Barto, Joseph Gable, Guy Nearing, Charles Dexter, together with pioneers in Germany, Chile, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. From 1922 until the onset of hostilities in 1939 'Mr. Magor' provided both plant material and knowledge from hands-on experience and he was instrumental in encouraging Lionel de Rothschild, and other key personalities, to respond to overseas requests for plant material.
2005 Pioneer Achievement Award: Keshab C. Pradhan
As Sikkim's Chief Forester, your early recognition that the unique forest and mountain resources in Sikkim of rhododendrons and alpine plants are finite made you a pioneer in environmental awareness. That these plants hold a special place in the history of temperate gardens prompted you to devise a system for small group visitation and discovery that ensured their protection. In this endeavor you became a pioneer in what today is known as eco-tourism. Your leadership as Chief Secretary in the creation of alpine and rhododendron sanctuaries throughout Sikkim makes you a pioneer in environmental conservation and protection. Your effort will ensure continued access and study of a gene pool resource that was the foundation for the rhododendron hybrid as a plant for temperate European, North American and Antilles gardens. Through your gracious personal hospitality to numerous groups of plant enthusiasts that have visited Sikkim over thirty some years you have gained the respect and thanks of a worldwide fellowship of rhododendron lovers.
2003 Pioneer Achievement Award: Doris and Bruce Briggs
Thanks to your dedication and commitment to research and innovation the nursery industry has a tool to grow the finest and newest selections of woody ornamentals. Your tenacity, born of complete conviction that tissue culture could be successfully applied to woody ornamentals, resulted in the advancement of rhododendron culture, propagation and distribution in America and throughout the world. In the early 1970s, in cooperation with other nurserymen, you discovered practical methods leading to breakthroughs in woody plant tissue culture and pioneered the commercial adaptation of tissue culture techniques to rhododendrons. Your practical knowledge was a key factor in this development which revolutionized the nursery industry. You have been active in plant propagation and distribution for over half a century. You have given generously your time and contributed plants to American Rhododendron Society chapters and conventions for many years. In the general field of horticulture your dedication, enthusiasm, skill and commitment to the sharing of knowledge have resulted in an impressive list of awards: ARS Bronze Medal, 1984; ARS Silver Medal, 1987; ARS Gold Medal, 1993; RHS Gold Medal (Veitch Memorial), 1998. You have received 15 additional awards from plant societies and organizations, have published more than 20 articles and frequently spoke to rhododendron organizations. Although most of the awards and honors were granted in Bruce's name, your wife, Doris, deserves equal credit for her considerable role in these achievements. It is with great pride and appreciation that the American Rhododendron Society presents this Pioneer Achievement Award to Bruce and Doris Briggs.
2001 Pioneer Achievement Award: Lionel Nathan de Rothschild
Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, self styled "by hobby a banker and by profession a gardener", spent a great part of his life establishing and constructing the world renowned Exbury Gardens, where through his knowledge, expertise and dedication he produced, introduced and distributed to the gardening world a great number of hybrid and species rhododendrons and azaleas of extraordinary quality and beauty. In witness whereof, the American Rhododendron Society does herby award to Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, posthumously, the Pioneer Achievement Award, April 28, 2001.
2001 Pioneer Achievement Award: Britt Smith
You have done much to establish and maintain invaluable relations with rhododendron enthusiasts and officials in Sikkim and were instrumental in decisions made to preserve rhododendron rich areas in Sikkim as sanctuaries and natural parks. You have presented countless lectures and articles on your thirty-five years of work with R. occidentale which have entertained and educated us all. You and Frank Mossman have studied R. occidentale in its native habitat and are largely responsible for the popularity and preservation of this magnificent species. You donated to the South King County Arboretum Foundation an aggregation of what is now the largest collection of documented wild collected forms of R. occidentale. For your efforts which represent a lifetime of exceptional work and contributions to the plant world, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present the Pioneer Achievement Award to Britt Smith, April 28, 2001.
1995 Pioneer Achievement Award: James Elwood Barto
Despite poor health and poverty he created a horticultural miracle in the wilds of the Coast Range Mountains of Western Oregon. With the help of his devoted wife and family, and without any modern equipment, he managed to clear five acres of dense timber and brush land to accommodate thousands of rhododendrons, many of species which had been unknown in the U.S. He corresponded widely with knowledgeable people in the rhododendron field, obtained seed from many plant expeditions and from many parts of the world, planted and nurtured the resulting plants under the most primitive of conditions. He shared his knowledge and his plants freely with all who cared and in so doing greatly advanced the science of rhododendron culture. Many of the species rhododendrons selected from his collection have set a standard of excellence among horticulturists. He died of cancer at the age of fifty-nine without realizing the valuable legacy he left for the rhododendron community. For his many contributions to the plant world the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present its most prestigious honor, the Pioneer Achievement Award, posthumously to James Elwood Barto.
1994 Pioneer Achievement Award: August Kehr, Ph.D.
Your leadership in establishing the American Rhododendron Society Research Foundation has brought, and continues to bring, dividends in knowledge and understanding of the genus Rhododendron. Your foresight in introducing the Breeders' Roundtable and the Pollen Bank has made possible the continued development of diverse hybrids of untold beauty and hardiness. The sharing of your knowledge of pollen storage has made the Pollen Bank useful and of wider benefit. Your introduction of chromosome doubling in rhododendrons has paved the way to previously unheard of breakthroughs in hybridizing. Your leadership in many capacities in the American Rhododendron Society has elevated it to worldwide recognition. Your creative mind is a never-ending source of new and applicable concepts. We salute your broad and active interest in other plant societies. For these many contributions to the plant world, the American Rhododendron Society is pleased to present its most prestigious honor, the Pioneer Achievement Award, to Dr. August E. Kehr.
1991 Pioneer Achievement Award: George Fraser
George Fraser, 1854-1944, one of the earliest growers and hybridizers of rhododendrons in North America, devoted more than fifty years to the development of his beloved genus Rhododendron. Working alone in the isolated village of Ucluelet on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, he produced many hybrid rhododendrons and generously shared seed, pollen and plants with other pioneer plant breeders in the U.S.A. and Britain. He was interested particularly in developing crosses between the native rhododendron of the Pacific coast and the hardier ones of the eastern United States and Canada. Loved by his friends and neighbors, respected internationally by his peers, this gentle, humble man was a truly great rhododendron pioneer.
1987 Pioneer Achievement Award: Guy Nearing
Mr. Nearing has been prominent in the annals of our society since its inception in 1944, as he and Joseph Gable were well known even then for their hybridizing efforts in the Northeast. Nearing began working with rhododendrons in the late 1920's, when he was associated with the Guyencourt Nurseries in Delaware, and in 1930, began his voluminous correspondence with Joseph Gable. Spanning a period of two decades, these letters exchanged by Gable and Nearing delineate their attempts to develop strains of species and hybrids which are adapted to the rigorous climate of the Northeast and are a wonderful source of information and inspiration to those who still pursue this goal.
Early in his career as a nurseryman, Nearing recognized the need for a method of producing own-root rhododendron cuttings on a large scale for the commercial nursery. He is well known for his invention of the Nearing Propagating Frame, a structure designed to create an atmosphere of continuous humidity in indirect light, which accomplished this goal. The Nearing Frame, for which Nearing received a U.S. patent, is still used by many nurseries and hobbyists. Nearing was also the first to suggest the wounding of semi-hardwood cuttings as an adjunct to the formation of a sturdier and better balanced root system, as well as other pioneering propagation techniques.
Guy Nearing was eager to disseminate information about the genus Rhododendron and in a letter to Joe Gable in 1931, he stated the need for a Rhododendron Society in this country. He wrote articles for "The Floral Exchange" and "Florists Notes" in addition to presenting programs to garden clubs and horticultural groups. In September, 1940, he reiterated the need for an American Rhododendron Association, and after the formation of the ARS in Oregon, he became an active member of the New York Chapter, the first chapter on the East coast. He later was a founding member of the Tappan Zee Chapter and regularly attended meetings of this and the New Jersey Chapter, where he conducted studies of species and other topics.
Although he worked as a nurseryman most of his life, Guy Nearing's prime interest lay in the creation of beautiful and hardy rhododendrons for our difficult climate. He joined the British Rhododendron Society and became conversant with others in Great Britain and the United States who were in the forefront of exploration and introduction of new species and development of new hybrids in this extensive genus. Nearing became an authority in his own right and was able to obtain seeds and pollen to initiate his program. His association with Joe Gable and their shared resources allowed both of them to expand and enrich their goals. Hundreds of crosses were made and thousands of seedlings were raised. The gene pool they created still serves as a valuable reservoir for those who are engaged in further development of this work. Nearing had a particular interest in the dwarf lepidotes suitable for rock gardens and small-scale designs, and he is know for his creation of such popular varieties as 'Windbeam', 'Wyanokie', and the Guyencourt hybrids. Two of his best-loved plants, 'Ramapo' and 'Mary Fleming' are grown extensively from coast to coast. His plants are also sought after in Great Britain and Japan.
1985 Pioneer Achievement Award: Cecil Smith
The Cecil and Molly Smith Garden is a reflection of Cecil Smith, the plantsman. He is sensitive to horticultural requirements of each plant, placing each where it will thrive. He has an intuitive sense of design. His hybrids are known throughout the world. His generosity with seeds and pollen have benefited rhododendron growers everywhere.
Cecil Smith has a long history of involvement with rhododendrons. He was an early member of the Society, joining just one month after it's founding. He served the Society for many years as a National Director and was awarded the Society's Gold Medal in April, 1976. The Portland Chapter honored him with their Bronze Medal in 1980. Together with his wife, Molly, he developed one of the finest rhododendron gardens in the country. His woodland acreage near Newberg, Oregon proved an ideal habitat for rare species and choice hybrid rhododendrons. A recent inventory of his collection lists nearly 600 species and hybrid rhododendrons.
Cecil was a subscriber to the Rock and Kingdon-Ward expeditions. Many plants grown from the seed received from these trips still flourish in his garden. His critical eye selected only the best for propagation and as hybridizing stock.
The thoughtfulness of this man is underscored by his hybridization program. Cecil has consistently worked towards developing hybrids that would be hardy in the eastern United States and would be of good foliage and attractive plant habit. His named hybrids, such as 'Noyo Brave' and 'Yellow Saucer', are known throughout the world. Other unnamed hybrids such as his crosses using R. yakushimanum, R. bureavii, and R. rex as parents Illustrate the broad scope of his work. His generosity with pollen, seeds and cuttings is legendary. Cecil has been a regular contributor to the ARS pollen bank and the seed exchange.
Through numerous articles written for the Society's publications, Cecil has been able to share his knowledge with others. He always had time for a discussion with rhododendron enthusiasts, be they beginners or experts. He and Molly have given scores of visitors a warm welcome to their garden. Tour groups from New Zealand and Japan have joined visitors from Great Britain, Canada and this country in admiring Cecil's skill in growing rhododendrons. As word of the garden has spread, photographers and writers from regional and national publications have come to capture the beauty of the rhododendrons growing there.
Although somewhat reluctant to appear in photographs himself, Cecil has been an avid photographer and his rhododendron photographs have appeared many times in Society publications. His slide collection has been the basis for many programs for the Society and other horticultural groups.
Cecil's interest in rhododendron species led him to become a founding member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation at federal Way, Washington. As a member of the RSF Board of Directors, he has helped guide the development of their botanical demonstration garden. Many of the Foundation's plants came directly from the Smith's garden.
Recently, Cecil and Molly again displayed their generosity and desire to share their love of rhododendrons with others, as they made it possible for the Portland Chapter to purchase their garden property. Through this acquisition their garden will be preserved for the benefit of all Society members and friends.
1982 Pioneer Achievement Award: Joseph Gable
With all our respect and love, we honor Joseph Benson Gable, a great and gentle man, a true pioneer in the
Genus Rhododendron by awarding him the Pioneer Achievement Award for: