Sponsored by the Garden Club of America, this fellowship was established in 2000 by Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer J. Thomas, Jr. and is awarded annually to an exceptional graduate student to assist with study and research at a leading American institution.
This fellowship reflects and promotes the Garden Club of America’s interest in supporting garden history and design, and examining the future of gardens and their unique place in our environment. Today, with growing constraints on all open space, the art of the garden increases in importance. Professionals have expressed the need to focus on American garden history and design, and have expressed dismay at the lack of funding help for talented students.
Project study should have wide scope, such as investigating new techniques of garden restoration; studying how small gardens created by community groups have impacted public gardens; exploring and documenting physical, emotional and spiritual healing properties of the garden; and instigating the development of gardens that use ecological and regenerative concepts, to name but a few possibilities.
Selection criteria will include the degree to which the proposed fellowship work addresses GCA objectives, as well as the excellence of the student’s academic qualifications and person. The purpose of the Garden Club of America (GCA) is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondences and publications, and to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.
Applicants must be graduate students who are enrolled at a U.S. college or university. They must be researching some aspect of garden design. Selection is based on academic merit and applicability of proposed research to the aims of the Garden Club of America.