Russell E. Larson

President of ASHS - 1964
BS University of Minnesota - 1939
MS University of Minnesota - 1940
Ph.D. University of Minnesota - 1942
D.Sc. Delaware Valley College - 1966

Russell Larson grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. He graduated from college with majors in Horticulture, Plant Breeding, and genetics and was assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island (1941). Dr. Larson embarked on a career in teaching, research, and administration at the Pennsylvania State College when he joined the Horticulture department as assistant professor of vegetable gardening (1944). He was associate professor (1945), provost of the University (1972) and retired with the rank of professor emeritus of horticulture and provost emeritus (1976)

Dr. Larson recognized the potential of hybrid vigor (F1) and was an early advocate and utilizer in his breeding program in vegetable and flower crop production. A joint author of a textbook "Vegetable and Fruit Management" (1956), he has published over 50 technical papers on plant breeding, genetics, and vegetable production. His great knowledge and leadership made him well thought of by everybody, hence his service in committees (chairman) of many states, national and international organizations, including ASHS, USDA, AIBS, and the National Research Council.

Among the many awards received were the Leonard H. Vaughn (1948), University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievements (1961) and John E. Wilkinson Administrative Excellence at Penn State (1976) awards. He is also a Fellow of ASHS (1964) and AAAS (1971).

Dr. Larson was the driving force for finding suitable land for agriculture research away from the main campus. His hard work, perseverance and negotiations led to the purchase of eight farms for this purpose. The University Board of Trustees named this complex the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs in his Honor (1990).