Mar 012012

Robert Fuchs, President of R.F. Orchids in Homestead, was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in Tampa on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. The induction ceremonies were held during the State Fair.

The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honors those men and women who have made lasting contributions to agriculture in Florida. Robert Fuchs, a third-generation orchid grower with deep ties to the agriculture commu-nity in South Florida, is the first orchid grower to be recognized by the Hall of Fame in its 35-year history.

Jan 012012

South Florida orchid lovers have lost yet another dear friend and fellow orchidist. On December 16th, 2011, Joyce Kelly finally succumbed to the cancer that she had been courageously fighting for a good number of years. She will be greatly missed by everyone in our orchid community.

Donations in memory of Joyce may be made to either the South Dade Amateur Orchid Club or to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

Dec 012009

Editor note: Sandy Schultz is Past President of the SFOS and an active volunteer for the society.

Sandra L. Schultz, a 30-year Miami Dade College North Campus Professor has been named the 2009 Florida Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Schultz was selected from among more than 300 top professors nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country. She was honored at a reception Wednesday night at the Folger Shakespeare Library Exhibition Hall in Washington, D.C.

Schultz is the third MDC professor to receive this top recognition, which is given jointly by the Council for Advancement and Support Education. The other winners were: In 2003, Alberto Meza, professor of fine arts at the Kendall Campus. In 2005 Ana M. Cruz, School of Business at the Wolfson Campus.

Dr. Schultz is the recipient of four Endowed Teaching Chairs, most recently the Anastasios and Maria Kyriakides Chair. “This is an incredible homor. It’s a great way to end my career,” Schultz, who plans to retire next year, said in a statement released by the college. “I have really enjoyed my years at MDC.”

Schultz began her career at MDC in 1977 as a volleyball and softball coach, and then teaching several physical education and activity courses. She also helped develop the fitness and wellness for life course, which provides instruction on how to improve health and nutrition, as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recently, she began to teach the course online to students living all over the world.

In addition to teaching, Schultz is the author of several fitness textbooks. She is chair of the North Campus Wellness Day Committee, which annually draws in more than 700 participants. The Carnegie Fundation’s Professors of the Year awards program was established in 1981 and is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world.

The U.S. Professors of the Year awards program was established in 1981. TIAA-CREF, one of America’s leading financial services organizations and higher education’s premier retirement system, became the principal sponsor for the awards ceremony in 2000. Additional support for the program is received from a number of higher education associations.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie “to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching.” The foundation is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its nonprofit research activities are conducted by a small group of distinguished scholars.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of education institutions, serving nearly 3,400 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 59 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information, and standards in the fields of educational fundraising, communications, marketing and alumni relations.

Jun 012009

Trudy Fennell, a legendary and beloved figure in the orchid world, passed away on June 2, 2009, after a brief illness. She was born in Miami, Florida, on April 6, 1926. She married the celebrated owner of Fennell’s Orchid Jungle, Thomas A. Fennell, Jr., on March 8, 1950. Trudy was not born into an orchid family as was her husband, but destiny brought them together during the period when she was the first floor manager of Burdine’s Department Store in Miami. Tom, with his usual flare for orchid displays, had established an orchid kiosk at Burdine’s, and as a consequence, the couple met over orchids.

From that point until Tom’s death in 1988, Trudy was a constant figure on the orchid scene. She along with her children were engaged in setting up the legendary displays at the Miami shows, attending the World Orchid Conferences including the first one, but Trudy was best know as the “orchid greeter.” Trudy met every visitor who came to the Orchid Jungle in Homestead, Florida, with her ever-present smile and enthusiasm for life. She led tours, answered untold numbers of questions about orchids, but she was also a devoted wife and mother who embraced a deep faith. Trudy became a successful retailer of all things orchids when she opened her own business at the Orchid Jungle, The Patio Gift Shop, which had five immense live oak trees growing through it. Her inventory was diverse and ranged from local orchid creations to the finest European imports.

Trudy never met a stranger and could engage in conversations with total strangers just as though she had known them all her life. During the last WOC, she attended a private party honoring the 125th anniversary of the founding of Vacherot and Lecoufle, where she had the opportunity to be with many people that she had not seen in years. In the typical Trudy fashion, she went up to each person, gave them a hug, and began a conversation just as though they had see each other the day before. I will treasure having known her and will always cherish what she said that wonderful night during the WOC, “orchids are just so special aren’t they, they bring such wonderful and interesting people together.” Trudy will be missed by all that knew her. Requiem Aeternum

Trudy’s many friends extend condolences to the entire Fennell Family.
Jeff H. Bradley