Passion for student success leads to budding scholarship

ken brink
Professor Kenneth Brink

For horticulture graduate students

The family and friends of Professor Kenneth Brink, who served as Head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from 1968-1995, have created a scholarship intended to support horticulture graduate students in the department.

Student success

“This scholarship is an outstanding way to honor my father,” said Deb Brink, Kenneth’s daughter. “My father was not only dedicated to his discipline and research but he also took a special interest in both the personal and professional success of all students, and especially graduate students.”

The scholarship will be awarded by a selection committee who will take into account a student’s need, merit, and personal character. The committee will select a recipient each year, although the previous year’s winner can apply to renew the scholarship for a total of three years.

Advancing the science

Throughout his time as a faculty member at CSU, Brink worked with students, growers, and Extension agents as they helped communicate horticulture as an applied science. His academic career focused on technical aspects of horticulture, while, at the same time, he also helped industry professionals create viable business models.  Brink felt that improvements in the science of horticulture would ultimately help industry business owners both large and small.

Brink received a B.S., M.S. and Ph. D. in Horticulture from Purdue University and was affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Horticultural Society. He was also a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science.  He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association and the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Administrative Leadership from Colorado State University, and was named Best Friend of the Industry by the Colorado Flower Growers Association as well as Friend of the Industry by the Western Colorado Horticultural Society.

Mentor and friend

“As a young professor joining Colorado State University in 1980, Ken Brink was a great mentor and true friend helping me establish a successful teaching, research and outreach career at Colorado State University that has extended over 35 years,” said Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Professor and Extension Landscape Horticulturist, James Klett, who worked with Brink for 15 years.

Brink passed away in May 2014 and is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marise, his two children, and two grandchildren.

Supporting the scholarship

Anyone interested in contributing to the Kenneth M. Brink Memorial Scholarship fund in honor of Professor Brink should visit,  or mail a gift payable to the CSU Foundation, with Ken Brink Memorial Scholarship in the memo line, to the CSU Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Collins, CO 80522, or contact Kris McKay, Associate Development of Development, College of Agricultural Sciences, 970-491-0909,