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Plant Pathology Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Posted: June 13, 2013

An exhibit celebrating the golden anniversary of the formation of the Department of Plant Pathology in 1963 is currently on display through September 17th in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library in 104 Paterno Library on the Penn State Campus.
L-R: Dr. Fred Gildow and Dr. George Abawi, President-elect of APS

L-R: Dr. Fred Gildow and Dr. George Abawi, President-elect of APS

A social sponsored by the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and the Penn State University Archives was held on Friday, June 7, 2013 for the Grand Opening of the exhibit.  Presentations by Dr. Fred Gildow, Department Head; Dr. Barb Christ, Dean of the College Agricultural Sciences; and Dr. George Abawi, President-elect of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), described the evolution of the Department, its current status, and its significant role in the discipline of Plant Pathology and Agriculture.  Dr. Abawi presented the Department with a plaque from APS honoring its many contributions to the society and discipline.

The exhibit, developPlant Pathology 50th Anniversary Celebrationed by 16 members of the Department organized by Dr. Gary Moorman, covers the history of the Department, past accomplishments, current research, and future directions and plans.  Eleven displays and five posters cover a variety of topics including Mushroom Science, Air Pollution, Phytophthora Blights, Eradication of Plum Pox, the Plant Disease Clinic, the Penn State Elms, Cooperative Extension, and Environmental Microbiology. Scientific equipment and products made from wood salvaged from campus elms killed by Dutch elm disease and elm yellows are on display.

To continue the celebration of Plant Pathology at Penn State, a series of guest speaker presentations on Plant Pathology related topics are scheduled for June 15 (The Elm Story),  June 29 (Phytophthora, the plant pathogen), July 20 (Mushroom production from art to science), and August 24 (Plants get sick too and the eradication of plum pox from PA).  Also, a series of walking tours of campus to view and learn about common plant diseases are scheduled for June 15, 22, 29, July 17 and 24.  See our “Upcoming Events” section for more details and times.

 The Department wishes to thank Jackie Esposito, University Archivist, and the Special Collections staff at the Eberly Family Special Collections Library for their expert care and creativity in assisting in the development and setting up of the Plant Pathology display.  We also thank the Paterno Library for giving us this opportunity to educate the public on the significance of Plant Pathology to their daily lives.

More photos from the 50th Anniversary Celebration available here.