By Echo Martin
Bailey Nurseries, a fifth-generation family-owned company, has been involved with the department for decades. They have provided plants for the display garden, scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students, and supported conferences hosted on campus. In 1980 Gordon and Margaret Bailey even established the first endowed faculty chair in CFANS, housed in our department and currently held by Professor Jerry Cohen. On October 6, the Bailey family was invited to campus to thank them for their myriad of contributions.
The visit started with a tour of the greenhouses to show some of the state-of-the-art resources at our disposal and the research that is being done thanks in part to their ongoing support. From there the tour continued to the Horticultural Display Garden, where the Baileys learned how the garden acts as a living classroom to teach students and the public about various areas of horticulture.
The tour ended with a walk through of Jerry Cohen’s laboratory and a presentation from his staff and graduate students about the research the lab undertakes. After the tour was over the entire department attended a reception to celebrate the contributions the family has made. Department head, Emily Hoover, and Dean Brian Buhr both spoke, thanking the family and highlighting some of their major contributions over the years.
Finally, Gordon Bailey spoke to the crowd about how much he has enjoyed working together with the University. As a special surprise, once the speeches were over the crowd sang happy birthday to the three family members with birthdays in October, including Jo Bailey, Gordon’s wife. It was wonderful to show the family the impact of their gifts, and the department looks forward to working with the Bailey family for many more years to come.