EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation has knocked out a fifth of a Michigan State University $5 million campaign to endow the Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology.

Endowed positions are a cornerstone for recruiting outstanding faculty and supporting innovative research. We are fortunate to have the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s partnership in our efforts to advance solutions to pressing challenges in turfgrass science in ways that will improve lives and strengthen communities.”

MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.

According to MSU, Dr. Joe Vargas has spent more than 50 years improving turf quality on every continent, except for Antarctica. Vargas is also a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

The endowment aims to ensure a consistent, formidable program is viable.

Additionally, MSU will be able to continue connecting research to the our nation’s needs, advancing many facets of life in Michigan and beyond.

At the forefront of our turfgrass program are our faculty members who are global leaders in their areas of expertise. By investing in this endowed chair position, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation shows their commitment to creating new knowledge through research, while educating and inspiring the students who will become the next generation of leaders in turfgrass science.”

Brian Horgan, Ph.D, chairperson for the MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, which houses the Turfgrass Program

The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) got its start in 1957, as a non-profit supporting turfgrass education and research.

The Joe Vargas Endowed Chair continues the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s partnership with Michigan State University that has been successful for over 50 years. This initiative helps to ensure that the MSU Turfgrass Program continues into perpetuity, sustains MSU’s place in cutting-edge turfgrass technology, and furthers the advancement of turfgrass students. The combined efforts of MSU and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation exhibit the true meaning of a land-grant university working with its partners to provide a template and foundation of future research and educational programs for generations to come.”

Carey Mitchelson, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation executive director