Dear Friends of the Lotus,
It was only a few weeks ago that our nation elected a president whose campaign motto was “Yes we can!” Pi Alpha Xi has seen a great deal of change in the past 86 years, but the vision that led our early PAX leaders to establish an honor society which unified students, educators, and professional horticulturist in promoting high scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and the enrichment of human life through plants remains strong in the society.
As you are aware, Pi Alpha Xi and ASHS have partnered to provide an ongoing presence for Pi Alpha Xi and to streamline the day to day operations of the society. The transition has not been without a few bumps but has progressed rather smoothly this past semester. My thanks go out to past PAX president, Ellen Paparozzi, and the executive director of ASHS, Mike Neff, for their support during this transition.
We have seen a tremendous amount of change to how Pi Alpha Xi records and information is managed. The Pi Alpha Xi database has been updated and moved to a secure server. We ask chapter advisors to work with us as we use historical records to confirm initiate numbers and update chapter contact information. The Pi Alpha Xi website, formally housed at Oklahoma State University, was reformatted and has a direct link under the “Student” tab on the ASHS homepage. Tim Rhodus has worked his magic to maintain the professionalism of the site while creating an inviting environment for people to browse. The National officers invite your thoughts and comments on how to improve this site. The site address is: ashs.org/pax
I am sad to report that The Pi Alpha Xi Floral Evaluation and Design Competition for 2009 will be postponed until 2010. This decision was difficult to make, but the current financial status of many universities resulting in travel restrictions has reduced significantly the number of teams that are able to participate this year. The Contest Committee, 2009 Host School; South Dakota State University, and the National Officers concluded that a national competition should adequately reflect the talent existing at our institutions. In addition, the limited number of schools able to participate would place an undue burden on the host school’s time and finances. The Contest Committee is already developing a strategy for increasing participation at next year’s competition.
Can we as horticulturist remain positive and focused on the enhancement of our society’s vision of excellence for horticulture? While not as charismatic as our nation’s current leader, I do believe that we can and will be a stronger society representing the best of horticulture. So I also say “Yes we can!” I wish you all a great spring semester.
With positive and forward thoughts,