William Meyer, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has been named the first C. Reed Funk Endowed Faculty Scholar in Plant Biology and Genetics at Rutgers University. This is a tremendous honor for Meyer and the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Executive Dean Bob Goodman presented the award to Meyer at the Rutgers Golf Classic Fundraiser at Fiddlers Elbow Country Club on May 2 in front of over 350 golf industry professionals from eight states and Canada. This is an annual event that has raised over $1.5 million for turfgrass research over the past 20 years.
Meyer joined the Center as director of the Turfgrass Breeding Program in 1996 after 21 years spent as a commercial turfgrass breeder and corporate president. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading breeders of cool-season turfgrasses. “Since coming to Rutgers in 1996, Bill Meyer has taken the Rutgers Turfgrass Breeding Program to a whole new level,” said Bruce B. Clarke, director of the Center for Turfgrass Science. “The turf breeding program was already recognized as the top program in the world during Reed Funk’s tenure, but Bill has really raised the bar in terms of developing new turfgrass cultivars with enhanced pest and stress tolerance that require less fertilizer and water.”