Introduction to 1982 Morrison Lecture
Remarks by Dr. Henry M. Cathey, Director, National Arboretum
Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Introducing Dr. August Kehr, 1982 B. Y. Morrison Memorial Lecturer,
speaking before the annual meeting of the American Rhododendron Society, Washington, D. C., May 8, 7982.
On behalf of the Agricultural Research Service, I am very pleased to welcome you to the B.Y. Morrison Memorial Lecture for 1982. Over the past fifteen years this lecture series has addressed a variety of distinguished national audiences vitally concerned with the quality of our environment. National meetings that have served as platforms for the Morrison lectureship have included the American Institute of Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Education Association, the National League of Cities, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Horticultural Society, among others.
This is the fifteenth in a series of lectures honoring the first director of our National Arboretum. Benjamin Morrison showed talent in a wide spectrum of interests during his lifetime. He was a horticulturist, a landscape architect, a scholar, and a lecturer. He gained an outstanding reputation as a breeder of ornamental plants and his Glenn Dale azalea hybrids are widely and proudly grown. Ben Morrison did much to advance the science of botany. His plant explorations took him to the Orient, Europe, and Latin America, and he fostered the broad international exchange of ornamental plants.
The National Arboretum that I now direct is administered by the Agricultural Research Service. We initiated the Morrison Lecture series back in 1968 to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the environmental sciences and to stress the urgency of preserving and enhancing man's environment.
We are especially fortunate this evening to have a past president of the American Rhododendron Society deliver the Morrison Lecture. August Kehr is a distinguished scientist and horticultural administrator. Before his retirement from the Agricultural Research Service in 1978, Augie was responsible for coordinating our national and regional research programs on vegetable, florist, and nursery crops.
Augie received his undergraduate and graduate training at Cornell. The major emphasis of his doctoral program was in plant breeding, plant pathology and cytology. After teaching horticultural science at Louisiana State University and Iowa State, he joined the staff of the Agricultural Research Service in 1958.
His first assignment with ARS was in potato investigations — he was in charge of Irish potato and sweet potato improvement. In 1965, he was appointed Chief of Vegetables and Ornamentals Research, responsible for a program of investigations on the production, breeding, diseases, culture and quality evaluation of 20 vegetable crops and 30 ornamental crops. From 1972 until his retirement in 1978, he was Staff Scientist on the ARS National Program Staff. Here, he formulated national and regional research programs in vegetables, florist and nursery crops.
In 1974, Dr. Kehr was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the horticultural world. In 1975, he received the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Superior Service Award.
He is a member of the American Horticultural Society, the American Rhododendron Society, the American Society for Horticultural Sciences, the American Potato Association, and he is a past president of the American Genetic Association. He is also a member of several honorary scientific societies, including Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, and Gamma Sigma Delta.
The title of Dr. Kehr's lecture this evening is "The Case for Constancy in Plant Names." Before he speaks, however, I would like to make a presentation. The Agricultural Research Service has had a bronze commemorative medal created for this special occasion. It is with the greatest of pleasure that I present it to you, Augie, as a memento of your lecture this evening, and as a reminder of our regard for you and the work you are doing.
Ladies and gentlemen, the 1982 B. Y. Morrison Memorial Lecturer, August Kehr.