Bob Burke Awarded Honorary Degree

Walnut Council Bulletin

Bob Burke Awarded Honorary Degree

Bob Burke of Indiana was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Agriculture degree from Purdue University. Prior to the commencement ceremony Bob was honored with a reception hosted by Purdue's Department of Forestry & Natural Resources. A number of friends and special guests and many family members attended.

A summary from the commencement program:
Mr. Robert Burke has distinguished himself as a dedicated, passionate and visionary leader in forestry. During his 38 years of employment at Pierson Hollowell Veneer Company, Mr. Burke established plantations of walnut and other hardwoods for conducting research, purchased and managed several hundred acres of forestland throughout central Indiana from Illinois to Ohio state lines, became one of the earliest foresters certified by the Society of American Foresters and developed and implemented a new hardwood forest management department within the company.

In 1970 Mr. Burke co-founded the Walnut Council, an organization that promotes the growth of black walnut and other hardwood trees. Then in 1995 he co-founded the Walnut Council Foundation, a non-profit corporation to provide financial support to the Walnut Council.

Mr. Burke worked with Senator Lugar and former Purdue Professor Dennis LeMaster to establish the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) in 1998. Mr. Burke continues to serve on its advisory committee. Mr. Burke's commitment to sustainability and best practices in forestry has been recognized by many research and professional organizations. The Society of American Foresters (SAF) elected him a fellow in 1985 and the National Walnut Council awarded him its highest distinction, the Black Walnut Achievement Award.