BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The contributions of a beloved specialty crops leader to the fruit and vegetable industry will live on in the creation of an endowed undergraduate scholarship.
One year after his passing, the Chris Doll Scholarship has been enhanced to an endowment fund through donations, guaranteeing annual scholarship opportunities for the next generation of students pursuing careers in horticulture.
“Chris Doll’s accomplishments have been felt throughout Illinois Specialty Growers Association and his legacy will continue to spark future leaders,” said Raghela Scavuzzo, executive director, Illinois Specialty Growers Association (ISGA). “Sadly, on October 12, 2020, the industry lost the great Carroll ‘Chris’ Doll. In his memory, the Chris Doll Scholarship Fund received donations to ensure its endowment and its ability to award scholarships to students every year. We would like to give a tremendous thank you to the Doll family for their matching donations and their support in fundraising, as well as to all who donated and helped get us here.”
The Chris Doll Endowed Scholarship is awarded annually to eligible juniors or seniors who have an interest in horticulture, specifically focusing on fruits or vegetables, in the Department of Crop Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I).
Each fall, students are invited to apply for scholarships administered by the Department of Crop Sciences. The undergraduate programs team, led by the director of undergraduate programs, reviews student applications based on scholarship criteria and student merit to select recipients. Students are selected in the spring semester for these fall awards and may accept the scholarships until July.
“The University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences is grateful to the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, its members and the Doll family for their kind consideration and commitment to higher education in creating an endowed undergraduate scholarship honoring the memory of Chris Doll,” said Dr. Adam Davis, professor and head of the Department of Crop Sciences, U of I. “This scholarship will help future students build the knowledge and skills necessary to support vibrant food systems.”
“This endowed scholarship allows us to recruit and retain top students hoping to make an impact on the fruit and vegetable industry in Illinois,” said Erika Olivares, undergraduate recruiter and academic advisor, Department of Crop Sciences, U of I. “We’re thankful for the support of the Doll Family and the Illinois Specialty Growers Association.”
Doll, a long-time ISGA member, was associated with the Illinois fruit and vegetable industry since he began duties as area adviser in fruits and vegetables in 17 southwest counties for the U of I Extension in 1965. His goals of “improving the quality of life” were aimed at all he served. He retired from the University of Illinois in 1994 and continued to breed and test horseradish varieties for nine years and consulted with both fruit and vegetable growers for 14 years.
To learn more about Doll’s legacy in the horticulture industry and the endowed scholarship created as his namesake, visit https://www.specialtygrowers.org/scholarships.
Illinois Specialty Growers Association is an allied member of United Fresh Produce, a national organization representing the produce industry. Founded in 1989, ISGA is a non-profit membership organization supporting and advocating the promotion, research, and education efforts within the specialty crop industry. There are over 3,600 established specialty crop farms utilizing more than 81,250 acres to produce over 472 million dollars in sales annually within Illinois.
— Illinois Specialty Growers Association