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By Craig Cramer
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  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plants
  • Horticulture

Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture and plant sciences, welcomed 26 new members during a November 15, 2021 ceremony.

“It was another large group of inductees this year, and it was great to see in person many of last year’s class who were inducted via Zoom last year,” says Mark Bridgen, Professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science and Pi Alpha Xi advisor.”

Only the best students in the plant sciences are invited to join Pi Alpha Xi. The society was founded in 1923 at Cornell University and Cornell is the Alpha Chapter. Originally, it was the national honor society for floriculture, landscape horticulture and ornamental horticulture. In recent years it has expanded and now honors excellence in all aspects of horticulture and plant science.

Since its founding, PAX has grown to 39 chapters at baccalaureate-granting institutions. Its mission is to promote scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and the enrichment of human life through plants.

PAX was very active at Cornell University for many years, peaking in the 1970s. But the chapter went dormant for several years until its revival in 2013. Now, the students hold activities to increase appreciation of plants on campus and sponsoring field trips to plant-centric destinations, such as the Philadelphia Flower Show and regional botanic gardens.

The 2021 Alpha Chapter undergraduate inductees are: Edward Almanza, Elise Boisvert, Harrison Brown, Michael Carni, Travis Cox, Jenny Cunningham, Runlong Dong, Zoe Economos, Kathleen Gallagher, Annika Gerlach, Benjamin Haefner, Jonah Helmer, Kevin Jess, Arden Lee, Giovanna Lemgruber Viol, Beatrice Mace, Zachary Mcpherson, Victoria Mock, Franz O’Hanna, Stephen Stresow, Rebecca Stup, Hannah Tolz, and Amanda Wilson. Three graduate students were also inducted: Julie Cardon, Christopher Levine, and Jiaqi (Darren) Xia.

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