Bailey Foundation Expands the Family Legacy

Dean Brian Buhr, Department Head Emily Hoover with members of the Bailey Family: Melissa Bailey Cullen, Ginny Bartch, and Ben Bailey.

For over a century, the Bailey family has been a philanthropic leader in CFANS. They have created multiple scholarships, established the first endowed faculty chair in CFANS, and supported countless events and endeavors around campus. In August, they showed their commitment to the next generation of horticulturists yet again through a $1 million gift from the Gordon and Margaret Bailey Foundation to support students studying horticulture.

“We wanted to honor the legacy of Gordon and Margaret Bailey by supporting student learning and developing the talent of future generations in the nursery industry,” says Melissa Bailey Cullen, president of the Bailey Foundation. Gordon Sr. was a graduate of the University of Minnesota with the class of 1925, and his and Margaret’s dedication to family leadership in the nursery industry has helped Bailey Nurseries grow into one of the largest nurseries in the United States.

A young Gordon and Margaret Bailey

Their gift also honors the people who have fueled the success of Bailey Nurseries, including its founder J.V. Bailey and his wife Elizabeth who were both graduates of the University of Minnesota. Honoring the Bailey family’s passion for supporting the next generation of nursery professionals, the majority of the gift will provide scholarships for students studying horticulture. The Bailey Foundation’s gift will nearly double the annual amount of scholarships given to students studying horticulture.

Continuing their leadership in new philanthropic giving, ten percent of their gift will be used to fund student experiences in horticultural science. “We’re thrilled about the gift as a whole,” says Emily Hoover, head of the Department of Horticultural Science, “but this student experience component is unlike anything we have in the department currently.” This portion of the gift can fund buses for class field trips, travel to conferences, field studies, technology upgrades, and more—all of which reduces costs for students.

Gifts like this are essential to creating a thriving student experience and easing the rising costs of higher education. The Gordon and Margaret Bailey Horticultural Science Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students studying horticulture. If you’re interested in starting or supporting a scholarship or endowment, contact Emily Hoover at

Above: Dean Brian Buhr, Department Head Emily Hoover with members of the Bailey Family: Melissa Bailey Cullen, Ginny Bartch, and Ben Bailey. Picture by Echo Martin.

By Echo Martin


December 22, 2017

Horticulture Newsletter

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