The Gardens Party is an evening for friends and fellow garden enthusiasts to gather in support of the Gardens and the internship programs. This year, in addition to raising much-needed funds for our student internships, we were pleased to celebrate Cook’s Market, our weekly farm market, now housed in its permanent green-roof structure. The evening featured many of our market vendors, with a selection of their local and Jersey-fresh produce and products.
Each year at the Gardens Party we present the Hamilton Award in honor of Dr. Bruce Hamilton, Director Emeritus of Rutgers Gardens. This national award recognizes an instructor or mentor, in the field of professional horticulture, who embodies the essence of educational selflessness by helping others to advance while placing personal ambition aside. To this end, the ideal nominee is not involved with horticulture for personal gain, but rather to share their passion of plants and the further advancement of those whose lives he or she graces.
This year, it was our distinct pleasure to honor Dr. Dennis Werner, of North Carolina State University, with this award. Werner earned degrees in Horticulture from Pennsylvania State University and Michigan State University. He began as an assistant professor at NCSU in 1979, worked his way to full professor in 1988, and became a J.C. Raulston Distinguished Professor in 2013. He has authored many peer-reviewed articles and is renowned for breeding fruit and ornamental plant varieties, with more than two dozen cultivar releases to his name. A fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, Werner has received a number of awards and was recently named the Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor by North Carolina State University.
Announcement of the 2019 Hamilton Award recipient was publicized on Rutgers’ Newsroom, by the Rutgers University Department of Communications. You can read the article here.