Michigan State Horticultural Society gives $50,000 to CANR professorship

The Michigan State Horticultural Society has donated $50,000 to the Martin (John) and Judith Bukovac Endowed Professorship in Tree Fruit Physiology in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU.

MSHS awarding $50,000 to the John Bukovac professorship.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) has donated $50,000 to the Martin (John) and Judith Bukovac Endowed Professorship in Tree Fruit Physiology in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU).

The gift assists in endowing a tree fruit physiology position in the MSU Department of Horticulture that honors Bukovac, a University Distinguished Professor emeritus who has crafted an enduring legacy within the horticulture industry in Michigan and beyond.

“John has not only worked as a researcher; he’s been a great steward for our industry and our organization,” said Allyn Anthony, the executive secretary of the MSHS. “This gift is a win-win. We get to show our appreciation for the impact he’s had, and we ensure that funds are available for research, education and outreach long into the future.”

Bukovac’s research innovation has resulted in a plethora of patents and practices commonly implemented today. He has engineered processes for regulating flowering and fruit growth, and fruit abscission for machine harvesting of cherries, as well as developed more efficient methods for pesticide application.

Through Bukovac’s more than 40-year career in teaching, research and outreach, he has interacted with hundreds of students and plant agriculture professionals. He has mentored and trained more than 80 graduate students, postdoctoral students and visiting scientists.

Several honors have been bestowed upon Bukovac, such as being named a National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford and Bristol Universities. He was also elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1983. For his contributions to horticulture, he was inducted into the American Society for Horticultural Science Hall of Fame in 2001.

Bukovac has worked on behalf of the MSHS in an assortment of capacities for nearly the duration of his career — in addition to his research and outreach duties. MSHS established a trust in 1984 to benefit growers through research, education and outreach, which Bukovac helped cultivate to a value of more than $1 million today.

He served as a member of the MSHS Trust Committee, including multiple stints as chairman. Along with his time and effort, Bukovac has donated money to the trust.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the MSHS for this generous contribution to the endowed professorship,” Bukovac said. “To be a member of this professional society for so many years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. It has been a privilege to meet and work alongside so many dynamic individuals pursuing similar goals.

“I would also like to thank the many growers, who over the years have shared their orchards, equipment and labor to assist in my research projects. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”

To celebrate Bukovac’s remarkable influence, he was presented the MSHS Trustee Dedicated Service Award in 2003. Bukovac was previously recognized by the MSHS in 1974, when he was given the Distinguished Service Award.

“This gift to the professorship is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to John, who has been such a supporter of MSHS over the years,” Anthony said. “It’s important to us that future growers and researchers understand how much John has done for our industry. We’re fortunate to be able to help continue that impact. It’s no accident that John has been a big part of putting us in the position to be able to give back.”

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