Scott Garden & Horticulture Award

Outstanding Contribution

The Scott Garden & Horticulture Award is designed to be given annually to an individual, organization or corporate body who, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, has made an outstanding national contribution to the science and the art of gardening. As specified with the original gift, the purpose of the award is “to promote a greater love of nature, make the nation more conscious of the beauty of the outdoors, develop a greater knowledge and love of plants and flowers, spread the gospel of better planting and designing, and arouse a wider interest in better planting and more beautiful gardens among all citizens.”

In 2024, the cash award was $20,000, the equivalent in value to the original cash award of $1,000 in 1930.

Nomination Procedure

A complete nomination includes a letter of nomination, at least two seconding letters, and the nominee’s curriculum vitae. Please include information about the nominee’s education, work history, research, publications, plant introductions, professional involvement, awards, and TV, radio, and public speaking engagements. Nominations are held in confidence. Self nominations are not accepted.

This documentation must be submitted to the Scott Arboretum by the specified deadline for the year, generally September 30. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

The deadline to submit nomination materials for the 2025 medal and award is September 30, 2024. If you have any questions, please contact Caitlin Anello at or (610) 328-8017.

Selection Process

The Scott Medal Fund stipulates the Selection Committee be composed of eight members representing horticultural societies, garden organizations, plant societies, and various horticultural professions.

The President of Swarthmore College or his/her delegate acts as the non-voting Chair of the Committee. The Director of the Scott Arboretum acts as the non-voting Committee Secretary.

The Award is generally presented in the spring at the Scott Arboretum. The recipient, who must be present to accept the award, is the keynote speaker on this occasion.

Past Recipients


  • 1930: John C. Wister
  • 1931: Liberty Hyde Bailey
  • 1939: J. Horace McFarland
  • 1941: C. Stuart Gager
  • 1942: Richardson Wright
  • 1944: H. Harold Hume
  • 1947: A.P. Saunders
  • 1949: Ellen Eddy Shaw


  • 1952: National Council State Garden Clubs
  • 1953: B.Y. Morrison
  • 1956: E.L.D. Seymour
  • 1957: Arno Nehrling
  • 1961: Clarence Godshalk
  • 1963: Henry T. Skinner
  • 1965: Richard Farnham
  • 1967: Frederic Heutte


  • 1970: Aubrey C. Hildreth
  • 1971: Donald Wyman
  • 1972: May T. Watts
  • 1973: George H.M. Lawrence
  • 1974: George S. Avery
  • 1975: Russell J. Seibert
  • 1976: Raymond C. Allen
  • 1977: Ernesta D. Ballard
  • 1978: H. Lincoln & Laura Louise Foster
  • 1979: John L. Creech


  • 1980: Clarence E. Lewis
  • 1981: Elizabeth Scholtz
  • 1982: Richard Lighty
  • 1984: Thomas H. Everett
  • 1985: Gertrude S. Wister
  • 1986: Fred Galle
  • 1987: William Flemer, III
  • 1988: J. Franklin Styer
  • 1989: Francis Ching


  • 1990: Polly Hill
  • 1991: J.C. Raulston
  • 1992: Charles Lewis
  • 1993: Michael Dirr
  • 1994: William Barrick
  • 1995: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  • 1996: Edward R. Hasselkus
  • 1997: Francis H. Cabot
  • 1998: Judith Zuk
  • 1999: Peter Del Tredici


  • 2000: Panayoti Kelaidis
  • 2001: Marco Polo Stufano
  • 2002: Harrison Flint
  • 2003: Daniel Hinkley
  • 2004: Fred Case
  • 2005: Mayor Richard M. Daley
  • 2006: Richard E. Bir
  • 2007: Allan Armitage
  • 2008: Nina Bassuk
  • 2009: Peter H. Raven


  • 2010: William McNamara
  • 2011: Harold Pellett
  • 2012: William Cullina
  • 2013: John Fairey
  • 2014: Jane Pepper
  • 2015: Kris Jarantoski
  • 2016: Dale Deppe
  • 2017: R. William Thomas
  • 2018: Paul W. Meyer
  • 2019: Thomas G. Ranney

2020 – Present

  • 2020: Holly Shimizu
  • 2021: Darrel Morrison
  • 2022: Robert Lyons
  • 2023: Richard Hawke
  • 2024: Margaret Roach

About Arthur Hoyt Scott

Arthur Hoyt Scott (1873 – 1927), a graduate of Swarthmore College, Class of 1895, and a successful manufacturer, maintained throughout his busy life an abiding love of beautiful gardens. He was at one time treasurer of the American Peony Society, a founder and treasurer of the American Iris Society, and a breeder of irises and peonies. The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, through its educational programs and displays of hardy plants, continues Arthur Hoyt Scott’s work.

In 1929, Margaret Scott Moon and Owen Moon, Jr. gave to the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College a special fund to establish a medal with a cash award, in honor of Arthur Hoyt Scott, Swarthmore Class of 1895.

About the Scott Medal

The medal was designed by Walker Hancock, American sculptor (1901 – 1998). The face of the medal represents man cherishing and culturing the ground, lifting his arms high above him as if to call down inspiration from on high to mingle with the water which pours from the old Grecian vase. The falling water flows by two motifs, the tree peony and the iris, flowers which are a tribute to the memory of Arthur Hoyt Scott, who made notable contributions to the culture of both these plants. The reverse side shows the tree of life as the product of the first garden and a quote from Francis Bacon, the 17th century philosopher. The quotation is from his essay Of Gardens: “God Almighty first planted a garden.” The essay continues: “And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.”