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Retired Horticulture Professor Establishes Scholarship

Richard J. Weilminster and his wife, Kathleen.A retired professor of horticulture will continue to help students succeed by establishing a new scholarship fund at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The Richard J. Weilminster Scholarship Fund will generate awards for students in Penn College’s landscape/nursery technology associate-degree major.

Preference will be given to full-time students who have completed at least two semesters of study, demonstrated academic performance and financial need, and who have demonstrated a passion for, and dedication to, the profession of landscape/nursery technology.

Weilminster, who retired from teaching in August after a 34-year career at the college, said he intends to endow the scholarship fund to create a permanent source of awards to students.

“I loved teaching and working with enthusiastic young people interested in, and drawn to, the field of horticulture,” said Weilminster, who received the college’s Master Teacher award in 1986 and was granted professor emeritus status upon his retirement. “This scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to continue providing support to students who are dedicated to the profession.”

During his career and since his retirement, students, colleagues and industry professionals have praised Weilminster for his skills and his work with students. Carl J. Bower Jr., a former student of Weilminster’s and now a horticulture instructor at Penn College, said Weilminster “is the kind of teacher that every student wishes they had.”

“He cared so much for his students and teaching and would do whatever he could to see that you succeeded,” Bower said. “I think this scholarship shows the kind of commitment he possesses, even in his retirement. He had enthusiasm and excitement for the field of horticulture, and, in seeing that, you wanted to learn more.”

“Rich had a long, distinguished teaching career at the college,” said Wayne R. Longbrake, dean of Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management. “He is highly regarded, both in his profession and by the hundreds of students he taught over the years. I’m excited about the new scholarship and the support it offers for landscape/nursery technology students.”

In 1996, the American Nursery & Landscape Association recognized Weilminster’s outstanding work with students by naming him the recipient of the association’s national horticulture collegiate teaching award, the L.C. Chadwick Educator’s Award.

Last year, he received the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association’s highest membership honor, the Frederick J. Mummert Distinguished Service Award. Weilminster served on the PLNA’s board of directors for 21 years, including a term as president. He is also a PLNA Life Member and Hall of Fame honoree.

Donations to support the Richard J. Weilminster Scholarship Fund can be sent to the Penn College Institutional Advancement Office, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701-5799. Gifts can also be made online .

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