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Michigan Turfgrass Foundation gifts $1M to MSU pathology chair

By |  February 16, 2022 0 Comments
Dr. Joe Vargas is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and has dedicated his 51-year career to improving the quality of turf. (Photo courtesy of MSU)

Dr. Joe Vargas is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and has dedicated his 51-year career to improving the quality of turf. (Photo courtesy of MSU)

A $1 million gift from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation to the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources launched a $5 million campaign to endow the Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology.

“Endowed positions are a cornerstone for recruiting outstanding faculty and supporting innovative research,” said MSU president Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “We are fortunate to have the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s partnership in our efforts to advance solutions to pressing challenges in turfgrass science in ways that will improve lives and strengthen communities.”

This endowment honors Vargas who has dedicated his 51-year career to improving the quality of turf on every continent except Antarctica. His knowledge has been shared in more than 200 articles and 1,000 presentations. As an international expert on turfgrass diseases, he is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

“At the forefront of our turfgrass program are our faculty members who are global leaders in their areas of expertise,” said Brian Horgan, Ph.D., chairperson for the MSU department of plant, soil and microbial Sciences, which houses the turfgrass program. “By investing in this endowed chair position, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation shows their commitment to creating new knowledge through research, while educating and inspiring the students who will become the next generation of leaders in turfgrass science.”

Established in 1957, the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports turfgrass research and education. The organization’s members represent a vast portion of the industry including homeowners, golf courses, seed, sod and stolon growers, municipalities, parks and recreation, schools, landscape and lawn care contractors, athletics and cemeteries.

“The Joe Vargas Endowed Chair continues the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s partnership with Michigan State University that has been successful for over 50 years,” said Carey Mitchelson, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation executive director. “This initiative helps to ensure that the MSU turfgrass program continues into perpetuity, sustains MSU’s place in cutting-edge turfgrass technology, and furthers the advancement of turfgrass students.”

For over 70 years, MSU’s turfgrass management program has provided significant, cutting-edge research that positively impacts practitioners and end-users, from our back yards to world-class golf courses.

Learn more about the Joe Vargas Endowed Chair in Turfgrass Pathology here.



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