On Sunday, October 2, some 200 friends and colleagues gathered in the Washington Park Arboretum to celebrate Professor Emeritus John Wott at the dedication of a trail—John Wott Way—in his honor. The afternoon dedication included a Scottish bagpiper, speeches, ribbon cutting, cake and champagne, and a procession along the trail, which runs through the New Zealand Forest in the Pacific Connections Garden.
John, who earned his bachelor’s in agricultural education from Ohio State University in 1961, and then his master’s (1966) and Ph.D. (1968) in ornamental horticulture from Cornell University, joined the faculty of the College of Forest Resources in 1981. He took over as director of the Arboretum from 1991 to 2004 and continues to serve—as director emeritus, long after his retirement in 2006—as a passionate leader, teacher and advocate for the park.
Guests and speakers at the dedication ranged from Harold J. Tukey, who became the first director of the Center for Urban Horticulture in the spring of 1980 (John was one of his first faculty hires); to Paige Miller, executive director of the Arboretum Foundation; to Michael Shiosaki, director of planning and development for Seattle Parks and Recreation; to Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley and many other friends, students, staff and faculty from SEFS.
Congratulations, John, for so many years of wonderful leadership and support for the Arboretum—and now literally offering a path for others to follow in your footsteps!
Photo of John and Paige © Ellen Hecht; photo of trail procession © Auslaug Harralsdottir.