University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Department of Horticulture | University of Illinois Archives

Name: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Department of Horticulture
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Historical Note:

Course work in Horticulture and Landscape Gardening was one of the original programs of study outlined in the University's first curriculum proposal.1 In the University's first year of operation courses in horticulture were organized under the Department of Agriculture, but it was hoped that the Department of Agriculture would eventually be divided into the Department in General Agriculture, and the Department in Horticulture, Fruit Growing, and Landscape Gardening.2 In 1870 the Department of Agriculture became the College of Agriculture, and under its supervision two divisions were organized: the School of Agriculture, and the School of Horticulture and Fruit Growing which embraced the mastery of gardening, fruit growing and forestry.3 In 1879 the title "School" was discarded, and the designation "special studies" was given the horticulture program and the other major division within the College of Agriculture.4 In the school year 1896-97 the College of Agriculture began to offer graduate credit for advanced study in horticulture.5 In 1899 the horticulture program achieved departmental status in the College of Agriculture - the same status that it has maintained to the present.6 Within the Department a division of vegetable crops was established in 1902, floriculture in 1908, and plant breeding and landscape gardening in 1912.7 The study of landscape architecture and community planning was transferred to the College of Fine and Applied Arts in 1931, and the division of plant pathology, established in 1941, became a separate department in the College of Agriculture in 1955.8 In 1974 the curriculum of the Department of Horticulture has three principal divisions: Vegetable crops, pomology, and floriculture and ornamental horticulture.9 From its original concern with growing and managing crops, the interests and emphases of the Department have expanded in new scientific directions: fertilizers, soils, plant morphology, plant breeding and plant physiology.10

On May 11, 1995, the Board of Trustees approved the renaming and reorganization of the College. It was renamed the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences and several changes were made in the organization of departments and divisions.11 The Department of Horticulture was combined with three other entities to create the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. The three other entities were: the Department of Forestry; the Office of Agricultural Entomology; and the soil scientists from the Department of Agronomy.12

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 1st Report, May 7, 1867, p. 50.

2. Circular and Catalogue, 1968-69, p. 6.

3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 4th Report, 1870-71, pp. 37, 39.

4. Catalogue and Circular, 1879-80, pp. 28-29.

5. Ibid., 1896-97, p. 163.

6. Ibid., 1899-1900, p. 139.

7. Richard Moores, Fields of Rich Toil, (Urbana: 1970), p. 155, n. 19.

8. Ibid.

9. Undergraduate Programs Catalog, 1973-75, p. 118.

10. Moores, p. 212.

11. Board of Trustees Transactions, 68th Report, May 11, 1995, p. 277-8.

12. University of Illinois, Faculty and Student Senate, Urbana-Champaign Senate, meeting minutes, March 27, 1995, EP 94.33, p. 35.; SEE Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, RG 8/10.

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