Connecticut Chapter Awards Bronze Medal To Howard Pfeifer
The Connecticut Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society has presented the Society's Bronze Medal to a medical doctor, to a professor, to a nurseryman, to a master machinist, but never before to a stand-up comedian.
When Howard Pfeifer became a member of this chapter a new kind of rollicking spirit walked in. Most of us knew he was a professor in the Botany Department of the University of Connecticut. Rumors had leaked out that his students looked upon him with admiration and awe mixed with a chuckling delight in his wit and naughtiness. As a teacher of taxonomy he demanded the best from his students while he leavened the deadly detail with sprightly comments. The fact that plant taxonomy is primarily based upon the sexual aspects of plants played right into his hands. Yet each student, from the brightest to the most dim-witted was always an object of individual attention from this teacher, even if it meant a very personal insult. And those of us elders who have received one of his playful insults wear it as a badge.
Howard has not only brought humor and joy to the chapter: he has pitched seriously into a number of official tasks, not the least, his magic in producing a succession of outstanding speakers for our meetings, seductively luring money out of our pockets by his inimitable running of auctions, and keeping us all on an even keel.
In recognition of his service to the Chapter, for his skill as a plantsman and teacher, and, not least, out of our love for him as a person we present Dr. Howard Pfeifer with the Bronze Medal of the American Rhododendron Society.