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Alex Laurie Award

About the Alex Laurie Award

SAF’s Alex Laurie Award for Research and Education is presented annually to an individual who has made broad-scope, long lasting contributions to research or education in the floriculture industry.  Click here to download and print a nomination form.

Alex Laurie Honorees List

A brief biography of Professor Alex Laurie

The award is named for Alex Laurie who, throughout a career that spanned more than 60 years, laid the groundwork for research that revolutionized the floriculture industry and who left a lineage of students, teachers and researchers who continued to this day to provide the information necessary to ensure the industry’s future.  Professor Laurie exemplified the perfect blend of researcher and educator – he knew the value of his research results, knew how to communicate that value and knew how to teach growers to apply it to their own operations.  His pioneering work in photoperiodism, fertilizers, nutrition and other areas paved the way for additional research leading to countless advancements in floriculture production.

Laurie was born in France in 1892, and arrived in the United Stated in 1903, attending high school in New York City.  He received his BS degree from Cornell University in 1914 and was for two years a horticulture instructor at the University of Maine.  In 1916, Laurie became a horticulturist at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, receiving his MA from St. Louis’ Washington University in 1917.  He remained at the Botanical Garden until 1920, and from 1920 to 1925 worked in various aspects of the commercial floriculture industry, including retail floristry and greenhouse production.

In 1925, Laurie became Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University, where he remained until 1929.  During that time, he helped organize and served as Executive Secretary of the Michigan Florists Association.

In 1929, Laurie became Head Professor of the Division of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture at the Ohio State University, where he remained until he retired from teaching in 1952.  During this tenure at OSU, over 600 students received degrees in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture under his tutelage.  Many of these students went on to highly responsible positions in industry, education and research, and now third generations of his students are teaching a fourth.  While at OSU, Laurie helped found and served as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of Roses, Inc.

In 1952, Laurie retired to Florida, where he founded and was president of Whistling Pines Gardens Inc., a tropical plant production nursery.  In 1963, he moved to Pine Mountain Georgia, and became a horticultural consultant to Callaway Gardens.  Mr. Laurie died in 1982 at the age of 89.

In addition to those he helped found, Laurie was a member of fifteen other floriculture industry associations, and in 1964 was elected to SAF’s Floricultural Hall of Fame.  In 1977, he received the SAF award named for him.  He was the author of eight books on floriculture production, nursery management and retail floristry, and was author and co-author of dozens of papers published in the scientific literature and articles published in the trade and popular press.

Alex Laurie Award for Research and Education Recipients

2014    John Dole, Ph.D., North Carolina State

2013    Virginia R. Walter, MS, California Polytechnic State University

2012    Edward C. Sisler, Ph.D., North Carolina State University

2011    Raymond Cloyd Ph.D., Kansas State University

2010    Ann Chase Ph.D., University of Florida

2009    Lance Osborne Ph. D., University of Florida

2008    Dr. James Barrett, University of Florida

2007    Dr. James Moyer, North Carolina State University

2006    Dr. Allan Armitage, University of Georgia

2005    Dr. Kevin Heinz, Texas A&M University

2004    Dr. Mary Hausbeck, Michigan State University

2003    Dr. Michael Reid, University of California

2002    Dr. Richard A. Criley, University of Hawaii at Manoa

2001    Dr. Paul V. Nelson, North Carolina State University

2000    Dr. Joe J. Hanan, Colorado State University

1999    Dr. P. Allen Hammer, Purdue University

1998    Margery Daughtrey, Cornell University, Long Island Horticultural Research Labs

1997    Dr. Michael Parrella, University of California-Davis

1996    Dr. Royal Heins, Michigan State University

1995    Dr. William Carpenter, University of Florida

1994    Dr. August A. DeHertogh, North Carolina State University

1993    Dr. Anton Kofranek, University of California

1992    Dr. Harry Tayama, Ohio State University

1991    Dr. Harold Wilkins, Nurserymen's Exchange, Half Moon Bay, CA

1990    Dr. Richard Craig, Pennsylvania State University

1989    G. Victor Ball, George J. Ball, Inc., Chicago, IL

1988    Dr. Roy A. Larson, North Carolina State University

1987    Dr. Robert Wing Langhans, Cornell University

1986    Dr. William H. Carlson, Michigan State University

1985    Dr. Lowell C. Ewart, Michigan State University

1984    Dr. Claude Hope, Linda Vista, S.A.

1983    Dr. Gail Edwin Bec

1982    Professor James W. Boodley, Cornell University

1982    Professor Haruyuki Kamemoto, University of Hawaii

1981    Dr. Richard E. Widmer, University of Minnesota

1980    Dr. Elwood Kalin, Washington State University

1979    Dr. John White, Pennsylvania State University

1978    Dr. Toshio Murashige, University of California

1977    Professor Alex Laurie, Ohio State University

1976    Dr. D.C. Kiplinger, Ohio State University

1974    Professor Oliver A. Batcheller, California Polytechnic State University

1974    Dr. Howard C. Brown, California Polytechnic State University

1973    Alvi O. Voigt, Pennsylvania State University

1972    Dr. Charles E. Hess, Rutgers University

1971    Dr. Harry Trelogan, USDA Statistical Reporting Service, Washington, DC

1970    Professor A.W. Dimock, Cornell University

1969    E. Gurney Mann, E.G. Hill Company, Richmond, IN

1968    Dr. H.H. Thornberry, University of Illinois

1967    Dr. Louis Berninger, University of Wisconsin

1966    Professor James E. Smith, Jr., University of Missouri

1965    Dr. John G. Seeley, Cornell University

1964    Dr. Marlin N. Rogers, University of Missouri

1964    Professor James E. Smith, Jr., University of Missouri

1963    Dr. Neil Stuart, USDA, Washington, DC

1963    Dr. Samuel Emswelle, USDA, Washington, DC

1962    Paul R. Krone, Michigan State University

1960    Dr. Gustav A.L. Mehiquist, University of Connecticut

1959    Dr. W.D. Holley, Colorado State University

1958    Dr. James B. Shanks, University of Maryland

1957    Dr. John R. Culbert, University of Illinois

1956    Dr. A.F. DeWerth, Texas A&M University

1956    Dr. Wesley Davidson, Rutgers University

1955    Dr. Henry M. Cathey, Cornell University

1954    C. Fisher

1954    Kenneth Post

1953    M. Truman, USDA, Washington, DC

1952    R. Hampton

1952    B. Brunk

1951    N. Stuart

1950    Conrad Olson