University of Massachusetts Alumni Honored Professor Pat Vittum Ph.D, by the Alumni Turf Group
Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase, New York and UMASS graduate Superintendent Mark Millett played host to a full field of University of Massachusetts Turf Program Alumni at the tenth annual Joseph Troll Turf Classic where Dr. Pat Vittum was honored.
Dr. Vittum received a B.S. in Chemistry from The College of Wooster in Ohio in 1974 and earned her Ph.D. in Entomology from Cornell University in 1980. Her doctoral advisor was Dr. Haruo Tashiro, who was an international expert in the biology of turf insects, especially white grubs. She has been at UMass since June 1980. She spent the first ten years at the Waltham Field Station, working in commercial floriculture and turf. She moved to Amherst in 1990, where she climbed to hold leadership positions within the program and the University. Dr. Vittum is the senior author of Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada, which is widely regarded as the bible of turf entomology. Her research interests involve the biology and management of several turfgrass insects, with a concentration on white grubs and annual bluegrass weevils, has cemented her as the foremost expert on these subjects.
Pat endeared herself further to alum when she worked with Dr. Michelle DaCosta as advisor to the University of Massachusetts team of students who won the prestigious Turf Bowl competition at the 2013 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
Of the award, Alumni Turf Group (ATG) President Steve Curry stated: “Dr. Patricia Vittum was honored for her enduring contributions for turf students, superintendents and research. Pat’s impact on our industry and many of our successes as individuals, made easy the decision for her to be the tenth honoree joining Joseph Troll, Sherwood Moore, Ted Horton, Geoffrey Cornish, George Thompson, Leon St. Pierre, Don Hearn, Bill Spence and Michael Wallace.”
The event was a fundraising success thanks to industry support. The Premier Sponsor, Tom Irwin has been involved with this event since its inception. In addition, crucial support came from Turf Products Corporation, LaCorte Equipment, Aquatrols, Phoenix, Syngenta, BASF, Harrells, Winfield Nurseries, John Deere Landscapes, Steven Willand, Tanto Irrigation, New England Soils, Westchester Turf Supplies, and Helena. Association support came from the Golf Course Superintendents association of New Jersey Foundation, Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England, the MET Golf Course Superintendents Association, and Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents.
Curry added, “Thanks all our sponsors and a full field of participants, we were able to donate $20,000 that night to support turf research and education at the University of Massachusetts.”
The fundraiser was initiated in 2004 as a means to raise money for the new Dr. Joseph Troll Turf Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. With the building completed, the Alumni Turf Group has continued the fundraising efforts to support the turf program at the University.
The Alumni Turf Group (ATG), formed in 2005, is a 501c3 organization made up of turf professionals who are graduates of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the University of Massachusetts. Through fundraising, ATG hopes to further research and education, promote UMass alumni in the turf management profession, and instill pride and commitment in the turf programs at the University of Massachusetts.
Entry forms, additional information for this event, membership applications, and ATG information are available online at www.alumniturfgroup.com.
Save the Date: May 12th, 2014
The Tenth Annual Joseph Troll Turf Classic
Old Oaks Country Club, Purchase, NY
Mark Millet Hosting
Honoring Dr. Pat Vittum
The Old Oaks Country Club is set on 220-acres in lower Westchester County, located 25 miles north of New York City. Old Oaks is an 18-hole golf course designed by A.W. Tillinghast. Historic and majestic the golf course is rich in traditional Tillinghast design trumpeting the famous quote that, “The merit of any golf hole is not judged by its length but rather by its interest and its variety”… The course features 6,503 yards from the longest tees for a par 70. The course rating is 72.3 and it has a slope rating of 139. Save the date and come join us at Old Oaks!