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 HortSci Grows in the spring.

 The nomination period for this year's award has now passed. 


  • 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.

Award Criteria

Nominees will be chosen based on a combination of the following factors:

  • Meeting the eligibility criteria;
  • Demonstrated distinction in their professional lives;
  • Recognition as an authority within the field of horticulture;
  • Exceptional service to or volunteer activities in her/his field.


Anyone may nominate an individual for this award, and individuals are welcome to self-nominate. Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. on July 15, 2018. Contact Thomas Roselyn (troselyn@umn.edu) with any questions.

Selection Process

  • Completed nominations are forwarded to the Selection Committee by July 18, 2018.
  • Letters to the winning nominee and their nominators will be sent by August 15, 2018. If attending HortSci Grows, the recipient will then arrange their itinerary with Lauren Matushin (matushin@umn.edu). The recipient may also be asked to attend other parts of HortSci Grows as a special guest, or visit classes occurring during their visit that are applicable to their field and experience.
  • The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to the nominee in person at the Kermit Olson Lecture and they are invited to the reception afterwards.


Previous Recipients

2017 — Royal Heins (Ph.D. 1978)

2018 — Eric Lee-Mäder (M.Ag. 2005)