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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AID ASSOCIATION FOR LUTHERANS DONATES $1,600 TOWARDS NEW GREENHOUSE

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 12, 2002 - The Aid Association for Lutherans, (AAL) Branch 1688 of Egypt Mills, Mo., recently made a $1,600 gift to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation to support a new horticulture greenhouse at Southeast Missouri State University.

AAL raises funds for educational programs that help themselves, their community and other people in need.

The Department of Agriculture at Southeast is working to enhance its horticulture program by building a new greenhouse complex. The first phase of the expansion calls for a new 11,000-square-foot greenhouse plus a head house (work building) to accompany it. The second phase calls for building a classroom laboratory building, an arboretum, walkways and turf management facilities.

"We are very, very pleased with the donation from the Aid Association for Lutherans," said Dr. Wesley Mueller, chair of the Southeast Department of Agriculture. "They have now joined the 150 Club. We are deeply appreciative of their commitment to this project."

Donors who make a contribution toward the project of at least $1,000 become members of the 150 Club, and their names will be placed on a special plaque to be housed at the new greenhouse, Mueller said. Other 150 Club members are James H. Bogle, Cheryl Brown, William Ellis, Jennings Brothers, Mark and Kim Madigan, William E. Meyer, Louis J. Naeger, O. David Niswonger, Ray and Mary Ann Pensel, Denise Lankford Pingel, Progressive Farm Credit-Ron Milbach, Dr. Ed Snider, Charles R. Stamp Jr., the Southeast Horticulture Club, Kevin Kettler, David Hoffman, Mack Wilson, John Korns, Dr. Derald Harp and Dr. Wesley Mueller.

Total cost of the project is $650,000. Thus far, about $400,000 has been raised. The Southeast Missouri University Foundation will match all donations toward the project one for one, up to $144,000, he said.

University officials say the horticulture program is expanding because of increased student interest and the increasing importance of the industry to Missouri. The program is important to incoming students, people working in the industry seeking continuing education opportunities and also those who want to be better gardeners and landscapers.

"We would like the department to be the place where learning never stops," Mueller said. "Our plans are to offer all horticulture students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working with many aspects of horticulture."

A new state-of-the-art greenhouse facility would give students experience by being the producer, from planting to sales.

"The horticulture program has outgrown its present greenhouse along New Madrid Street, west of the Student Recreation Center," Mueller said, "and we would like to build one twice the size.

The current greenhouse has about 5,500 square feet. The new greenhouse would be located on a 17-acre plot behind the University's new softball fields at Bertling and Sprigg, with access from Bertling.

For those interested in contributing to the project, a number of naming opportunities also are available, Mueller said. For more information on the opportunities or to make a contribution, call the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2252.

 

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