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Gardner, Monroe Evans

by Grady L. E. Carroll, 1986

3 Oct. 1895–29 Jan. 1975

Photograph of Monroe Evans Gardner.  Image courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina. Monroe Evans Gardner, educator, scientist, and administrator, was born in Blacksburg, Va., the son of Charles Wesley and Flora Evans Gardner. He was educated at Blacksburg High School and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he received a B.S. degree in horticulture in 1918. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1917. From 1919 to 1922 he was assistant horticulturist with the Virginia Agriculture Experiment Station; from 1922 to 1925 he was instructor in and then associate professor of horticulture at Clemson College, S.C.; and from 1925 to 1927 he was principal and teacher of agriculture in Consolidated High School, Charlotte Courthouse, Va.

The remainder of Gardner's career was spent at North Carolina State College as assistant horticulturist, North Carolina Agriculture Experiment Station (1927–30); acting head (1930) and head (1931–56), Department of Horticulture; and professor of horticulture (1956–65). For nineteen years he was chairman of the faculty buildings and grounds committee. He was also a member of the building committee; an elected member of the first advisory committee to then dean of administration, John W. Harrelson; a member of the first Consolidated University Advisory Council, representing North Carolina State College; and a member of the board of directors of the college's YMCA for fifteen years and chairman for twelve years. He was adviser to the Agriculture Club and the Horticulture Club as well as junior and senior adviser to the Agriculture Council.

Gardner organized the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen in 1936, the North Carolina Apple Growers Association in 1947, and the North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers Association in 1954. In 1937, he initiated the movement that resulted in the first direct appropriation for agricultural research ever made by the North Carolina General Assembly. He won the L. M. Ware Distinguished Teaching Award in 1961 and became a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science in 1967. He belonged to Phi Kappa Phi (1963), Alpha Zeta, Pi Alpha Xi, and the Farm Fraternity. The M. E. Gardner Arboretum was named for him in 1972. In addition to numerous articles for trade journals, he wrote a weekly newspaper column, "Garden Time," for sixteen years and was editor of "Challenging Careers in Horticultural Science." He stated: "There is nothing glamorous about teaching as far as professional recognition is concerned, but there are deep and lasting satisfactions."

Gardner married Margaret W. Coleman of Danville, Va., who died in 1973; the couple had two sons: Charles Evans and Monroe Evans, Jr. He was buried in Montlawn Cemetery, Raleigh.

References:

Monroe Evans Gardner, Jr., correspondence and telephone interview, March–April 1975, Raleigh.

Monroe Evans Gardner Papers (Library, North Carolina State University, Raleigh).

Raleigh News and Observer, 28 June 1965, 6 Feb. 1972, 30 Jan. 1975.

Marguerite E. Schumann, Strolling at State (1973).

Additional Resources:

Guide to the Monroe Evans Gardner Papers, 1910-1975, MC00167. Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.  http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/findingaids/mc00167 (accessed December 5, 2013).

Guide to the North Carolina State University, Division of Student Affairs, Office of Religious Affairs Records, 19093-1989, UA 016.036. Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina. http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/findingaids/ua016_036 (accessed December 6, 2013).

"Gardner Arboretum." Buildings, North Carolina State University. http://www.ncsu.edu/facilities/buildings/gard_arboretum.htm (accessed December 6, 2013).

Image Credits:

Dunbar & Daniel. "Professor M. E. Gardner." Photograph. Circa 1939 to 1949. Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina. http://d.lib.ncsu.edu/collections/catalog/0006976 (accessed December 6, 2013).

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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