Dr. Robert Herner Awarded Honor
Dr. Herner is recipient of the MSU Faculty Emeriti Association's Outstanding Contributions by an Individual Award
For his many contributions to the Department of Horticulture and Michigan State University, the Faculty Emeriti Association (FEA) presented an FEA Individual Award to Professor Robert Herner. Dr. Herner officially retired in 2001; however, he has never retired from MSU or the department in his heart or his actions. After leading an internationally respected research program in post-harvest physiology and ethylene biology, Dr. Herner chose to remain deeply involved in the department but in a somewhat different and impactful direction. He saw the needs of students and alumni that regular faculty did not have time to address. He turned those insights into meaningful action and developed a network of alumni as a way to maintain strong connections among each other and to their alma mater. Through this network, they could keep in touch with each other and with the department, share information and participate in alumni gatherings. Dr. Herner organized alumni events following the Student Horticulture Association's annual Spring Show, as well as a fall football tailgate in the teaching greenhouse. He filled an important need in the curriculum as co-instructor of a course and has provided a guest lecture for the senior capstone course for more than a decade. Dr. Herner has been as generous with his financial resources as he has his time. Current professors state that "it is overwhelmingly clear that long after he retired, Dr. Herner has played an integral, generous and inspiring role in the Department of Horticulture, creating new opportunities and venues for our students and alumni. No one has greater commitment to and love for the department and MSU."