Glyn Ellen, IL | Certificate of Distinction: 2003
Bruno Moser is a native of Glyn Ellen, Illinois, the son of a nurseryman. He received a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and an M.S. in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 1962 and 1964, respectively. He operated the landscape construction phase of his family business for two years, then entered Purdue to study ornamental horticulture with Dr. Charles Hess. He transferred to Rutgers University with Dr. Hess, and received his Ph.D. from Rutgers in 1969.
He was a professor of horticulture at Rutgers from1969 to 1975. In 1975 he became Head of Purdue’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, a position he held for 20 years. In 1995 he became Professor of Horticulture and Extension Specialist for Nursery and Landscape Crops.
Moser was one of the first department heads in the country to recognize the potential of new technology in horticulture research. He then built Purdue’s Horticulture Department into one of the strongest basic research programs in the country, a leader in molecular genetics and an important player in genetic engineering, with a faculty that is recognized as world-class. Remarkably, he did this without sacrificing the delivery of applied production programs and while strengthening the undergraduate teaching programs in both horticulture and landscape architecture. Throughout his career at Purdue, Moser has remained committed to the horticultural industries of Indiana. He led the effort to establish regional extension specialists, developing programs at both the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center in Vincennes and at the Purdue North-Central campus. In his current position he teaches all horticulture undergraduate students in his Plant Propagation course, as well as all undergraduates from the Landscape Horticulture and Design option in his Nursery Crop Production course. He also conducts research in sustainable agriculture, investigating multi-use plantings that generate income while providing a beneficial effect to the environment, and in the area of woody perennials, improving cultural practices and post-harvest quality of cut branches for the florist trade. His extension program is focused on the nursery industry, and he represents Purdue University to both the Indiana and the American Nursery and Landscape Associations. He has developed the industry’s most complete internet resource, the PLANT-Purdue Nursery and Landscape Thesaurus, which has over 4,500 landscape horticulture links for industry professionals in the Midwest and the Northeast and is visited over 60,000 times a year.
His professional service and leadership roles include extensive service to the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). He has chaired numerous ASHS committees including: Department Head Administrators Working Group (twice), Finance, Investment Trustees, Endowment Fund, Graduate Student Activities, and Scholarship. In recent years he has been appointed to several select committees to look at the future of ASHS and its role in both academia and commercial agriculture, including: Strategic Planning 1996-99; Blue Ribbon Committee on Annual Meetings 1998-99; and the Seach Committee for ASHS Executive Director 1999.
Locally, Moser has served as a trustee of St. Andrew Methodist Church since 1998, is actively involved with both the Lafayette Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and is a member of the West Lafayette Tree Fund and Planting Program. He has been involved in United Way since 1980, serving as the Purdue School of Agriculture chairperson in 1988.
Moser’s honors and awards reflect the importance of his contributions. He has been selected for membership in national academic and professional honorary organizations including Sigma Xi (scientific), Pi Alpha Xi (floriculture and ornamental horticulture), Alpha Zeta (agriculture), Gamma Sigma Delta (agriculture), Blue Key (activities) and Epsilon Sigma Phi (extension). His awards include induction into the Knights of the Red Tie by the Indiana Food Processors Association in 1987, the Indiana FFA Honorary Degree in 1994, and the Award of Merit from the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association in 1998. In 1990 he was named a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, the organization’s highest honor.