Pi Alpha Xi Fellow, 2002
P.A.X. was established to unify students, educators and professional horticulturists, to promote high scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and to enrich human life through plants. Virginia Walter typifies these ideals and is this year’s sole inductee as Fellow.
Virginia Walter (B.S., 1970, M.S., 1972, The Ohio State University) is a member of the faculty in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She joined the faculty in 1974 and rose through the ranks. From 1997 through 2000, she was the interim department head for the Department of Environmental Horticultural Science.
Professor Walter has a track record promoting floriculture and Pi Alpha Xi. Her flower judging and design teams are consistent performers at the National Intercollegiate Floral Crop Quality Evaluation and Design Competitions. She has earned the Woody Kalin Award presented to the coach of the National Champion Team in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, and 2002. She has also been a major contributor to the P.A.X. Flower Judging Manual and is a past president of Pi alpha Xi National.
At Cal Poly, Ms. Walter teaches Horticulture Fundamentals, Floriculture Grades & Standards, Greenhouse Environment, Cut Flower Production and Potted Plant Production. She is the advisor to the Upsilon Chapter, the FFA State Finals Floriculture Contest and advisor for numerous agriculture enterprise projects. On a national level, she serves as a board member of the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which awards scholarships each year to university students pursuing studies in floriculture. She is instrumental in promoting colleagues from around the country to encourage their best students to apply.
Her other accomplishments include being a Fulbright scholar, involvement in various research projects involving floriculture crops, and development of a CD-ROM to augment the greenhouse environment class. She is an active member of the American Society for Horticultural Science and a past working group chair; a member of the California Ornamental Research Federation Planning Board, Society of American Florists, Ohio Florists’ Association, Gamma Sigma Delta; and is actively involved in industry educational programs in California, Ohio, Maryland, Zimbabwe, and China.
Pi Alpha Xi National finds it fitting and appropriate to induct professor Virginia Walter as Fellow.