Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award is bestowed annually to alumnus of the HFRR department who has provided service of distinction during their career to their discipline. We are proud of the contributions of our department's alumni to the disciplines of horticulture and recreation resources, and this award recognizes some of these exceptional individuals.
2011 - Darrell Westervelt
Darrell Westervelt became associated with Blueville Nursery in 1954 when he came to Kansas State College as a student and needed a part-time job. He completed a B.S. in Dairy Science in 1958 and a M.S. in Horticulture in 1959, working with Dr. Ray Keen on his master’s research which involved grafting junipers. In 1962, after getting out of the army, he and his wife, Dorothy, took ownership of the nursery, which he had purchased by mail. At the time, the nursery was located just south of where the Clarion Hotel is currently located. When they needed to expand in 1964, they purchased 13 acres on West Anderson Ave. Trees planted in that year on the property are still being harvested today. Over the next four decades, Darrell led the business that focused on selling quality and service, along with plants, to their customers. Darrell’s son, Keith Westervelt, now runs the nursery along with key employees who are also stockholders. Darrell has always believed in community service, and this included 12 years as a member of the Riley County Commission and 11 years of service on the Riley County Law Board. His service continues today as a volunteer, in his retirement, in our HFRR department’s operations, including the KSU Gardens, HFRR Greenhouses, and construction of the high tunnels for Project PLANTS.
2010 - Joseph J. Brady
Joe Brady graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture in 1950. He established Brady Nursery in Wichita, Kansas, which he ran from 1952-2007. Joe tirelessly served the regional industry through activities such as leading the Wichita Area Nurserymen's Association and Kansas Nurserymen's Association and hosting the Gard'n Wise Television Show. Joe was also instrumental in establishing the John C. Pair Horticulture Center in Haysville. Joe's passionate and inspiring leadership shaped the nursery and landscape industries of Kansas, and they would look very different today without his early influence.
- Graduation from the Department of HFRR at least five years prior to the date of the award
- Noteworthy contributions to the community, state, or nation in their discipline