Kutztown University and KU Foundation Dedicates Nancy Jean Stump Seiger ’54 Botanical Research Center

Kutztown University and the KU Foundation hosted a dedication for the Nancy Jean Stump Seiger ’54 Botanical Research Center Friday, June 2. The new botanical center, located next to Boehm Science Building, will foster faculty and student research by offering controlled greenhouse environments, growth chambers and a fully equipped headhouse.

The facility complements the current greenhouse in appearance and features contemporary shading and climate control elements.

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“Through Nancy Jean’s philanthropy and the opening of the Nancy Jean Stump Seiger Botanical Research Center, we are going to help current and future generations of students pursue their dreams in the sciences,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president. “This facility will help our faculty, scientists and those of partner institutions, such as Rodale Institute, to conduct cutting edge research.”

In addition to housing the growth chambers and storage facilities, the headhouse includes spaces for researchers to prepare plants, record findings and work collaboratively. Faculty and students alike will spend time in the new area, advancing botanical research in ways that will be appreciated far beyond the KU campus.

This facility will be used in community education events for gardening and will complement research in regenerative organic agriculture associated with the new environmental studies program track. That research will benefit farmers locally, including KU’s partners at the Rodale Institute and beyond, as findings are circulated through publications and presentations.

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The Center is named for Nancy Jean Stump Seiger, who graduated from Kutztown State Teachers College in 1954 with a degree in education. She taught fifth grade in the Reading School District for 32 years and taught citizenship classes at night. She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate at the university’s fall 2021 commencement ceremony.

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