|Thoughts of Christmas trees and presents are
beginning to creep into the hearts of children; parents are starting to
stress about Christmas lists, and holiday décor will line store shelves
within weeks. With the thoughts of the approaching season, one Enid woman
is still relishing in the joy of her Christmas present last year –
a present that will continue to give year after year.
The family of 94-year-old Marjorie Horner Andrews presented her with a $40,000 scholarship endowment in her name last Christmas. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduate student in the OSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. It will initially be a $2,000 renewable award."We thought of the gift because of a $20,000 endowment presented to the department from the Enid [Okla.] Council of Garden Clubs," said Milton Andrews, Marjorie's son.
Marjorie Andrews, president of the organization, said the club has provided students from Enid and Garfield County with scholarships for many years. The members decided that with some of their remaining money they would create the endowment to ensure the scholarships would be available each year.
| "Because of the scholarships
given by the Enid Council of Garden Clubs, her family realized how important
scholarships were to Marjorie," said Doug Needham, floriculture professor
and chairman of the department's scholarship committee.
After learning of the garden club endowment, Milton Andrews presented the idea to his family and began speaking with Milford Jenkins, former senior director of development for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Jenkins presented the family with a number of ideas, including developing an award, creating a scholarship or naming gardens after her. They settled on the graduate scholarship and presented it to Marjorie as her Christmas gift.
"It was a very thoughtful way for the family to enable Marjorie's
legacy to be carried on at OSU and in the horticulture department through
assisting the education of others," said Jenkins.
|Milton Andrews said the family wanted
something to honor her permanently while helping others at the same time.
"It's a way to publicly announce our fondness for Marjorie while ensuring her name and accomplishments are remembered throughout the horticulture community for years to come," said Andrews.
Marjorie Andrews was introduced to gardening and basic horticulture by her grandparents when she was young.
"I've been doing [gardening] ever since I can remember," she said.
When she began, people had to send for mail-order seeds. She said she
would get so excited when the packages arrived. These early days started
a great love that shaped Marjorie Andrews' life.
|Marjorie Andrews loves the many plants scattered around her yard, bringing beauty into her life and to others. (Photo by Ben Humphrey)|
|OSU and her early employment.
She learned the many nuances of horticulture with a trial-and-error approach, short courses at OSU and her early employment.
Her first job was helping a friend who owned a greenhouse. She then worked at a retail farm store where she had to learn the differences in the seeds, fertilizers and environments to help the customers make the best decisions for their lawn and garden needs.
She later began working for the Enid State School as the horticulturist. There she managed three greenhouses in which she grew all the plants to landscape the campus.
She loved the work she was doing.
"I was probably the only state worker who would have worked for nothing," she said.
She shared her passion for gardening with others by joining many ornamental flower organizations. She is a charter member and served as president of the Central Garden Club, the Oklahoma Gladiolus Society, the North Central Iris Society, the Enid Rose Society and the Enid Council of Garden Clubs.
These clubs participated in beautification projects in their respective areas. They also sponsored contests at the county fair to promote horticulture's benefits.
"Working with flowers has helped her have a positive attitude about
Marjorie's granddaughter and the family's only OSU graduate.
"She has seen where plants lay dormant in the tough times of winter, but they always come back beautiful in the spring," said Shaughnessy. "She has seen that in life there are tough times but the days will always shine brighter in the future."
The flowers also reflect Marjorie's nurturing attitude.
"I have never met a more caring person," said Shaughnessy. "She is always caring for someone or something.
"Even the plants she has killed, she killed with love by either giving them too much water or too much fertilizer."
Marjorie Andrews said when she was presented with the endowment she was, "just speechless … and that's unusual for me."
She is always doing things for others, and now we have done something
special for her,
"She is very genuine and concerned about helping young people realize their dreams of obtaining an education and adding to society," said Jenkins. "She epitomizes the grandmother any grandchild would want to have."
The first scholarship will be awarded to a horticulture graduate student in August during the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture's scholarship ceremony at the OSU Botanical Gardens.
A faculty committee will choose the recipient from applications submitted through the college. First preference will be given to students who earned a previous degree from OSU.
The family wanted to support OSU students continuing their education here, said Needham.
The family hopes to see the endowment grow over time.
"We will keep contributing and hope to see friends and organizations contribute as well," said Milton Andrews.
Marjorie Andrews is grateful this gift is for others as well.
The Marjorie Horner Andrews Graduate Student Scholarship will support
more OSU students each year and help keep the Christmas spirit alive in
the hearts of all. By Ben Humphrey, Noble, Okla.