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2019-20 Garden Club of America Katharine M. Grosscup Scholarships in Horticulture

by Leslie Marting

Purpose: To encourage the study of horticulture and related fields. 

History: The Katharine M. Grosscup Scholarship in Horticulture celebrates friendship and the love of gardening within the GCA. It was founded in 1981 by Margaret Evans Berdan, Garden Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in memory of her friend Katharine MacConnell Grosscup, a talented gardener, enthusiastic conservationist and active member of the Shaker Lakes Garden Club in Ohio.  The first chairman of the scholarship committee was Elizabeth Evans, Mrs. Berdan’s sister-in-law, a member of the Garden Club of Cleveland.  The Katharine M. Grosscup Scholarship Committee continues to be jointly managed by three members of the Shaker Lakes Garden Club and three members of the Garden Club of Cleveland. 

Provisions: Awards up to $3,500 are paid directly to recipients in support of their education and research.

The Grosscup Scholarship supports young scholars from our region in their pursuit of an education in horticulture and its related fields.  The Grosscup is the only GCA scholarship that requires a personal interview.   This year we awarded $21,500 to a group of nine undergraduate students, ranging in age from 19 to 30.  Schools represented were Ohio State University, Ohio State ATI in Wooster, Michigan State University, the University of Cincinnati, West Virginia University, Hiram College and Cuyahoga Community College.  Please click here to read about this special group of committed students!

Founders Fund

The Founders Fund Award, established in 1934, was created by Mrs. Harold L. Pratt to honor the Garden Club of America’s twelve founding clubs and the memory of GCA’s first president, Mrs. J. Willis Martin, who served from 1913 to 1920.

Generously supported by gifts from clubs and individuals, the Founders Fund annually provides monetary awards to projects proposed by clubs in their local communities. The first award of $700 was given in 1936 for the publication in English of the Badianus Manuscript, one of the earliest know Aztec herbals. Current award winners receive $25,000 for projects that embody the Garden Club of America purpose – “to restore, improve, and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.”  

Together GCA members and fund winners have enriched multitudes and saved thousands of acres of land and innumerable trees. Historic landmarks are restored to past glory, civic plantings flourish in countless communities nationwide, and research and education projects benefit young and old. 

Banner photo by Karen Colini