Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Distinguished Alumnus Award honors an alumnus/alumna who has attained professional distinction in horticultural science as evidenced by outstanding professional achievement on a state, national or international level. Nominees are chosen based on their demonstrated distinction in their professional lives, recognition as an authority within the field of horticultural science, and exceptional service to or volunteer activities in her/his field. Recipients of the award are recognized at the Kermit Olson Memorial Lecture in the spring.


  • Candidates must have received at least one of the following degrees from the Department of Horticultural Science: 
    • Baccalaureate degree with a major in Horticulture, Environmental Horticulture, Animal & Plant Systems, Science in Agriculture, Food Systems, or Plant Science
    • Master of Agriculture
    • Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture
    • Graduate degree advised by a faculty member of Horticultural Science.
  • Nominees may be a group of alumni who collaboratively and individually meet the distinguished alumni award criteria.
  • Current staff or faculty in the Department of Horticultural Science or sitting Regents, are not eligible for this award.


Anyone may nominate an individual for this award, and individuals are welcome to self-nominate. Nominate an individual online. Nominations are currently closed. Contact Echo Martin (mart1794@umn.edu) with any questions.

Previous Recipients

2017 — Royal Heins (Ph.D. 1978)