Scholarships / Vaclavek Award
OHS Scholarship Program
As a nonprofit organization interested in promoting good gardening practices and stimulating interest in horticulture, the Oklahoma Horticultural Society (OHS) is proud to sponsor scholastic scholarships for college students majoring in horticulture related fields of study. Scholarships are awarded in honor of distinguished former Oklahoma State University (OSU) professors and/or OHS members. Two (2) $1,000 dollar scholarships, at OSU/Stillwater, three (3) $500 scholarships, at OSU/OKC, and one (1) $500 scholarship, at Tulsa Community College, are awarded each academic year beginning with the fall semester. A link to the OHS scholarship form is at the bottom of this page as well as scholarship criteria.
Oklahoma State University/Stillwater – Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
Recipients of these two scholarships are selected through the Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture scholarship process from nominees provided by the Department’s Scholarship Committee. You will need to contact the Scholarship Committee to fill out their general scholarship application.
Richard Payne Scholarship – $1000
Born in Abilene, Texas and raised in Oklahoma City, Richard Payne grew up to be a widely recognized professor at Oklahoma State University beginning in 1953 to 1954, returning again in 1957 to serve thirty more years before retiring in 1987. He received his BS degree in Horticulture at Oklahoma A&M in 1950. He went on to study at Ohio State University, receiving his MS in 1955 and PHD in 1967, both in Floriculture. He is widely recognized for his contributions to the horticulture industry.
Paul Mitchell Scholarship – $1000
Horticulture professor Paul Mitchell became host of Oklahoma Gardening in 1986. Up to that time, the show featured gardens and arboretums across the state. That year, Oklahoma Gardening was given a parcel of land at Oklahoma Botanical Garden & Arboretum, located west of the OSU campus in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State University/OKC – Agriculture Technologies
Applicants for these three scholarships should use the OHS scholarship form. A link to the form is at the bottom of this page as well as scholarship criteria.
Hugh K. Hedger Scholarship – $500
Hugh Hedger was one of the founding fathers of the Oklahoma Horticultural Society, serving as the first chairman in 1970. Over the years, he held many offices and was always a guiding force in the Horticultural Society. Hugh’s parents ran the USDA and Oklahoma A&M Research Station at Idabel, testing vegetables and fruits for that area of the United States of America. His interest in plants started as a young boy and he was always interested in sharing his knowledge and joy in watching plants flourish. He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Oklahoma A&M College (now OSU) majoring in Horticulture. He served as a pilot in the Air Force during WWII.
He was the first County Extension Horticulturist in Oklahoma serving in Tulsa County. Hugh and Lucille were recruited to represent Oklahoma A&M in Ethiopia as part of the Point Four Program. Upon returning to Oklahoma, he became Extension Horticulturist for Oklahoma County. He wrote a gardening information column regularly which was used throughout the state. Hugh helped a multitude of adult gardeners, but also loved working with 4-H and NJHA (National Junior Horticulture Association) youth. Hugh was hired as the State Extension Horticulturist for Kentucky and served 2 years in that capacity.
In 1975, when OSU-OKC decided to offer horticulture classes, Hugh was chosen as the first Department Chairman for the program. He taught a variety of courses over the years. An area of orchards and berries is named in Hugh’s honor at the OSU-OKC Horticulture campus. Hugh passed away July 10, 2009, at the age of 89.
Mary Ann Haliburton Scholarship – $500
Mary Ann was a very active member of the Oklahoma Horticultural Society from the time she moved to Oklahoma from her native state of Texas until her death. She was editor of our OHS newsletter for several years.
She received a BS degree in Elementary Education at the University of Texas in 1962, and taught in the Austin. Later she moved to Stillwater, and opened, owned and operated “The Clay Pot.” Mary Ann completed her Masters degree in Horticulture at Oklahoma State University in 1976. She was a graduate Research Assistant at the OSU Horticulture Department following receipt of her Masters.
She joined the Horticulture teaching staff at OSU-OKC in the late 1970’s. Mary Ann worked tirelessly to raise funding for the 4 teaching greenhouses, head house and classrooms at the location and facility that is now known as the John Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center. In 1983, she became the second OSU-OKC Horticulture Department Chairman, succeeding Hugh Hedger.
In 1986, she took the job as director at the Omniplex and added horticulture and agriculture exhibits as important aspects of the Omniplex. Later, she became the Director of the whole Kirkpatrick Center, until her health declined. She died May 24, 1994, following a courageous battle against cancer.
Allan Storjohann Scholarship - $500
Allan Storjohann is an experienced horticulturalist, educator and communicator with extensive background in the private nursery, landscaping and grounds maintenance industry, as well as the management of public parks and botanical gardens. Allan is a recent past president of Oklahoma Horticultural Society.
A third generation nurseryman, Allan has been involved in the nursery and landscape business for most of his life. He taught horticulture courses as as graduate student, vocational educator and as a tenured faculty member and Division Head in the Horticulture Technologies Department in the Agricultural Resources Division at OSU-OKC. He retired as the manager for the public gardens division of the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department, responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Will Rogers Park Gardens.
Each Saturday morning Allan uses his experiences and garden knowledge to answer gardeners' questions as the host of the KRMG Gardening Show. A seasoned radio personality, he has answered gardening questions and promoted hobby and business horticulture in Oklahoma on the air every Saturday since 1984.
Russell Studebaker Scholarship – $500
Russell Studebaker is a professional horticulturist and garden writer. He has spent more than 22 years as a garden columnist for The Tulsa World and 30 years as city horticulturist for Tulsa, Oklahoma, supervising various garden areas, including the Italian Rose Garden. Russell was the guiding force overseeing the planning and planting of impressive gardens at the Gilcrease Museum. He is also a frequent lecturer, garden tour guide, and writes for various gardening publications.
The following criteria must be met:
Must be a Horticulture student enrolled in coursework in the areas of Landscape Architecture, Landscape Contracting, Greenhouse or Nursery Production, Turf Management, Floriculture, Horticultural Therapy or related.
Must be a current resident of Oklahoma for a minimum of one year.
Must have a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.
Must have completed a minimum of 30 hours of college credit coursework.
Must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester.
Financial need will be considered in the final selection of candidates.
The scholarships will be awarded in equal payments of between $250 and $500 each semester for the scholarships.
The OHS Scholarship in Memory of Paul Mitchell and the OHS Scholarship in Honor of Dick Payne are awarded to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing majors in the Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture at OSU-Stillwater. Recipients of these scholarships will be selected by the Department’s Scholarship Committee.
For all other scholarships:
Download the Oklahoma Horticultural Society Scholarship Application by clicking the icon below or at the top of tany page on the OHS website.
2022 Scholarship Recipients:
Dick Payne – OSU/Stillwater: Trevor Shaw
Paul Mitchell – OSU/Stillwater: Chloe Summers
Hugh Hedger – OSU/OKC: Hunter Hamilton
Mary Ann Haliburton – OSU/OKC: Katherine Reynolds
Allan Storjohann - OSU/OKC:
4-H Scholarship: Kylee Detrick
FFA Scholarship: Shaley Barnes
If you have questions regarding the scholarship program, please send an email with the subject line “OHS Scholarship Inquiry” to Brenda Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org
The George J. Vaclavek Award
The Vaclavek Award is presented semi-annually to outstanding members of Oklahoma’s horticultural community.
George J. Vaclavek
John E. Kirkpatrick
Dr. Richard Payne
Mary Ann Haliburton
H. Marc Cathey
Loretta F. Aaron
Dr. Warren Filley
3/18/07 3/02/08 09/28/14
James Precure Rodd Moesel Kim Toscano
Shirley Kennedy Dave Edwards
03/08/15 Brenda Sanders
William Hawk Steve Dobbs 09/27/15
Dee Nash Hugh Stout Sandra Casteel
Linda Horn Jerry & JoAnn Logan
Mike Lindsey Jeannie & Dan Coley
* no awards were given between 2009 and 2013
Dr. Carl Whitcomb