Texas Tech University

George and June Tereshkovich Endowed Scholarship

George and June Tereshkovich


The George and June Tereshkovich Scholarship Endowment was established by various donors in 1997. The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students of all classifications who are majoring in horticulture.

Dr. George Tereshkovich, age 88, of Austin, Texas passed away on July 7, 2018. George was born on March 18, 1930, in New York City. He was preceded in death by his wife June (Brooks); his parents Philip and Helen (Nichiporuk) of Mahopac, New York, and his brother William, of Leonardo, New Jersey. He is survived by his daughter, Carol June (Rick) Roberson of Austin, Texas; a sister; grandchildren Dale and Crystal June; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

As a teenager, George worked various jobs but it was during his summers working as a park attendant at the Department of Parks, New York City that he developed his lifetime interest in horticulture. He graduated DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx, NY in January 1948.

During a stint as a military instructor at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Training Command, Fort Lee, VA, George met June Barbara Brooks of Richmond, VA. They married on July 2, 1955.

George's professional career of 39 years was divided between horticultural teaching and research. He received his B.S. degree in Botany from Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (now Louisiana Tech University) in 1952, his M.S. degree in Horticulture from The University of Georgia in 1957, and his doctorate in Horticulture/Agronomy (Horticultural Plant Breeding and Post Harvest Physiology) from Louisiana State University in 1963.

George returned to work at the University of Georgia Experiment Station, Griffin, GA as an Assistant Horticulturist conducting research on vegetable crops and ornamental plants.

He then spent 27 years of service at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. He retired a full professor in 1995 and was honored in 1996 with the prestigious academic rank of Professor Emeritus.

While at Texas Tech University he served on numerous university-wide, college, and departmental committees and also served as Interim Chairman in The Department of Park Administration and Landscape Architecture and The Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Entomology (now The Department of Plant and Soil Science).

George was a member of several professional societies that include the following: The American Society for Horticultural Science, Society of Sigma Xi, Gamma Sigma Delta Agriculture Honor Society, Pi Alpha Xi Honor Horticultural Society, Demeter Agricultural Honor Society, and The Georgia and Texas Horticultural Societies.

George also received several awards: the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas Tech University, the L. M. Ware Distinguished Teaching Award (Southern Region), the L. M. Ware National Distinguished Teaching Award from The American Society for Horticultural Science, the T.V. Munson Medallion for Viticulture Teaching, and the Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award from Texas Tech's Dad's and Mom's Association. In 2012 he was inducted into The Department of Plant and Soil Science "Hall of Fame".

George was also honored as Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1951-1952 at Louisiana Tech University. He received the Volunteer of the Month award sponsored by United Way Capital Area (Austin) for his service to Family Eldercare, Inc., in their money management program. The Texas Association of Nurserymen, Austin, TX (now the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association) awarded George with an Honorary Lifetime Membership for his service to the association and education committee.

George was active in many community affairs in Griffin, Lubbock and Austin. These included: the Griffin (Jaycees) Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Men's Garden Club of America and Rotary International, Griffin. In Lubbock, he was a member of the South Plains Plant Society, Vice President of Haynes Elementary PTA, and President of Lubbock Memorial Arboretum Foundation, Inc.

George travelled extensively by cruising to many places in the world. He was also an ardent reader of non-fiction books and materials.

Aside from his academic duties, Tereshkovich is noted for a message in a bottle. After 14 years and an ocean trek measuring a quarter of Earth's waistline, a message that he placed in a bottle popped up in the dunes along the beaches of Southwestern Australia's Big Quaram Beach.

On Feb. 19, 1997, Tereshkovich, aboard the Holland-America's grand ocean liner SS Rotterdam, wrote out a note, addressing it to an anonymous recipient who might find it and promising him or her $5. As the sun set, Tereshkovich tossed the sealed bottle, which also included his business card, into the ocean.

"I told the wife what I was going to do," he said. "She thought I was seasick or something, throwing a note overboard. We continued cruising, and I completely forgot about it."

That is until late April 2011, when a couple on a hiking trip in Australia spotted the bottle, 6,000 miles from its origin.

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Alex Yack
Senior Director of Development

Matt Williams
Director of Development

Shelbey Havens
Assistant Director of Development