A gift to a scholarship program keeps on giving

Hard to believe another year is about to be in the history books with Christmas just days ahead with a New Year right on its heels.

We hope your life is full of the Christmas spirit and will be blessed with special times with family and friends.  The holiday experience can be enriched with the charming beauty of poinsettias, the fresh evergreen scent of Christmas trees, wreaths and swags and the excitement of giving or opening gardening and horticultural gifts.

This truly is the season of giving, whether it be time and attention with those we love, gifts to those less fortunate or extra support for the causes and charities we support. As gardeners and folks that care about our community this is a time when many use the Christmas holiday or end of the year giving to provide extra support to groups like the Oklahoma Horticulture Society, garden clubs, plant societies or to youth gardening and community beautification causes.

This year, a group of horticulture leaders has gone together to initiate six major scholarship efforts to encourage more young people to study and pursue horticulture studies and pursuits in our state. Oklahoma State University is the land grant college in our state and offers most of the university level  horticulture training in our state with highly rated 4-year degree programs in Stillwater and 2-year associate degree programs in Oklahoma City.

Boone Pickens recently offered to provide $75,000.00 matching money to scholarships that raised $50,000.00 over 5 years by February 2015. The resulting $125,000.00 scholarship endowments will each pay out a little over $6,000.00 a year to use for student scholarships. We are attempting to fund 6 of the scholarships for horticulture student studies. When we get all 6 funded this will result in about $36,000.00 per year that can be used to support 36 students with $1,000.00 annual scholarships. As you make year end donations this year or consider gifts over the next few years please consider supporting one or more of these special scholarships.

The Marjorie “Ball” Moesel scholarship will honor my amazing mother and will support scholarships for 4-H youth who excel in horticulture, community beautification and community leadership programs as they pursue college studies. For more on Mrs. Moesel’s scholarship opportunity, please click here.

The Charles & Linda Shackelford Scholarship will honor the wonderful proprietors of TLC Nursery in Oklahoma City and will support scholarships for FFA youth who excel in floriculture, horticulture and landscape programs as they pursue college studies. For more on the Shackelford’s scholarship opportunity, please click here.

The Richard H. Moesel Scholarship will honor my father who loved to share the joy of horticulture and was instrumental in starting the horticulture program at OSU/OKC and served as an adjunct professor there for many years. This scholarship will be for horticulture students at OSU/OKC or those graduating from OKC going on to Stillwater to pursue a 4 year degree. For more on Mr. Moesel’s scholarship opportunity, please click here.

The other 3 scholarships will honor long time professors at OSU who each have trained hundreds of horticulturists and had a huge impact on the horticulture business in Oklahoma.

The Carl Whitcomb Scholarship in Nursery Management will support student learning in all phases of the nursery industry from propagation to field and container production. Whitcomb holds over 29 patents, has published over 400 articles, several books and is famous for his breeding including a steady stream of crapemyrtles. For more on Dr. Whitcomb’s scholarship opportunity, please click here.

The Jim Motes Scholarship in vegetable/herb production will support young people studying these important food crops. Motes is internationally known for his pepper breeding work, helped start the Oklahoma Vegetable Association and has helped develop Oklahoma asparagus, pepper, spinach and melon farming operations. For more on Dr. Motes’ scholarship opportunity, please click here.

The Richard N. Payne Scholarship will support students in floriculture crop and greenhouse management. Dr. Payne was my principal professor and is one of the nicest men in America with a real heart for his students, greenhouse growers and horticulture. He has been honored with National Teaching & Research Awards as well as starting the Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers. For more on Dr. Payne’s scholarship opportunity, please click here.

Please consider supporting one or more of these scholarship efforts with a donation to the OSU Foundation, 400 S. Monroe, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74076, noting the scholarship you are supporting.  E-mail me for a brochure with more details on each scholarship. This would be a truly special gift that will keep giving each year into the future and will help shape young lives for decades to come.

Have a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.

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