Kim Powell Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture Scholarship Endowment

The Kim Powell Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture Scholarship Endowment will provide scholarships for undergraduate students enrolled in Horticultural Science (Landscaping) and Landscape Architecture in the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Design at North Carolina State University. Scholarships will alternate between the two departments. Recipients must provide tangible evidence that they are in some way contributing a portion of the funding necessary for their educational expenses at NC State. This may be through verifiable current or summer employment.

About Kim Powell:

Adapted from a Glenn Morris Our State magazine article, April 2006. . .

Merle Autrey “Kim” Powell Jr. grew up on a 75-acre farm in Davidson County. His sister coined his nickname, inspired by Kimtone, a Sherwin-Williams paint product sold by his father. He graduated from Guilford College in 1972 with a degree in economics. In 1974 he earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the School of Design at North Carolina State University. He farmed all through graduate school and started a small landscape business with two classmates. After leaving NC State University, he was hired as Cooperative Extension’s urban horticultural agent in Forsyth County, and developed a weekly radio segment. In 1978, he moved to Raleigh to become an assistant professor of Horticultural Science at NC State, where his primary responsibility was to be a resource for county extension agents. He and his wife, Rori, settled in a small community in Chatham County to raise their children, Sam and Erin. He hosted UNC-TV’s “Backyard Gardener,” as well as a live weekly radio call-in show. He traveled 30,000 miles a year from one Extension office to another and back again. During his career, he developed courses on landscape and irrigation technology and helped create and implement the Certified Landscape Technician Program, revised the Certified Plant Professional Study Manual for the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen (now the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association), and much more including preparing numerous Extension publications.

When he decided to retire in January 2005, the Horticultural Science department head asked him to serve as Interim Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State, where his practical experience was vitally needed while a national search for a new director was undertaken. Kim is credited with making the gardens more useful and visitor-friendly. He officially accepted the title “professor emeritus” in December 2005. He still resides in New Hill, NC, with Rori. Erin Powell, their daughter, attained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Textiles at NC State in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and is employed by Textile Extension. Their son, Sam Powell, acquired a degree in Landscape Horticulture from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State in 2006.

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