Dr. William “Brock” Faulkner was a great friend and mentor to many within the department [Biological and Agricultural Engineering] and to faculty and students across campus. After a long battle with leukemia, Dr. Faulkner passed away in the spring of 2016. While Dr. Faulkner has left those around him, he is kept alive in the loving memories of those whose lives he touched.
To honor Dr. Faulkner in a long-lasting tangible way, a memorial rose garden was proposed by Dr. Maria King from the BAEN faculty. The garden was supported unanimously as a way to symbolize Dr. Faulkner’s love for his classes and his research with plants and flowers.
The memorial garden was completed in November of 2018. It took help from the department and others to create this special memorial. Former student and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (A.S.A.B.E.), Michaela Goff, passed the torch to Meenu Pillai and Griselda Quintero. The irrigation system was designed by the students of the AGSM Capstone class, Kyle Chism, Jacob Koreneck, Olivia Palmer and Mikala Tondre.
Around 20 students pitched in to complete the physical tasks of the garden in one day. Guidance was provided by student leaders Roy Ward and John Crump on making the design come to life. Within that day, one rose bush was planted. The other two were planted a few weeks later by Ward, Crump and Quintero.
The memorial garden includes a Belinda’s Dream rose bush. This bush has a special connection to Texas A&M University because a mathematics professor from Texas A&M developed the rose bush. Along with the Belinda’s Dream, there are two red Knockout Roses.
Students within the department worked hard to create the beautiful memorial garden. Patience was key as the project switched leaders and took over a year to complete from proposal to completion.
Those involved are thankful to those that helped make this possible including: A.S.A.B.E, Howdy Farm, Mr. Richard Epting, David DeLeon and Dr. Maria King. A special thanks to Sean Brashear, BAEN alumni, who is the president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers Inc. for sending a bag of bagasse to give the rose garden the potassium content needed. Very special thanks to our department head, Dr. Stephen Searcy on his unwavering and generous support through the whole project.
Article by Jessica Schaeffer
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