(In support of the Norman E. Borlaug Fellowship in International Agriculture and the Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health)
The intent of this endowment is to provide additional financial support to young international scientists who are enrolled in the University's Department of Plant Pathology and receiving partial funding as Norman E. Borlaug Fellows in International Agriculture. This endowment will specifically complement and support the existing Norman E. Borlaug Fellowship for International Agriculture and the two funds will be combined to create a larger award for one recipient. Whenever possible, the proceeds of the endowment shall support Borlaug Fellows associated with the Department's Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health and whose research efforts are in cereal rust disease control.
Designating the gift for this purpose honors the unparalleled hunger-fighting legacy of alumnus and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug, his mentor and hero Professor Elvin C. Stakman, and the many other distinguished scientist-humanitarians past and present from the University's Plant Pathology Department. It is hoped that contributing to the training of Borlaug Fellows at the Stakman-Borlaug Center can help further advance this century-long body of extraordinary achievement combating global hunger and saving hundreds of millions of lives.
Don Henry, his Wife Sandy Henry and their Son Drew Henry have given this gift in loving memory of Don's Mother Lillian Vaala Henry, Aunts Melba Vaala Robinson and Gladys Vaala, Uncles Orin and Harris Vaala, and Cousin Norman Borlaug. (Don's siblings Ted and Ann Henry, Cousin Marcia Robinson Congdon, and their spouses also made additional gifts to the endowment in memory of our family loved ones and Norman. Other family members and other Borlaug admirers have added to the endowment as well.)
The five Vaala siblings and Norman were first cousins who grew up on neighboring northeast Iowa farms near Cresco (where Norman went to high school) in the early 1900s. They, along with Norman's Sisters Palma and Charlotte, as well as other cousins from the Andrew and Alf Vaala families nearby, were friends in childhood and throughout their lives.
The Henrys and Cousin Marcia have treasured memories of their loved ones and of happy stays at the Vaala family farm (...which three of the Vaala siblings successfully operated through much of the 20th Century). It is the recent sale of this beloved Vaala farm which helps make possible the endowment gift in support of the Borlaug legacy.
Don, Sandy, and Drew also cherish recalling the special times spent with Norman whom they were privileged to come to know later in his life. Some of these memories are described in an expanded background description of the Borlaug-Vaala-Henry heritage included as an Appendix with the Memorandum of Agreement. It is hoped and encouraged that this description will be given to each recipient supported by the Vaala-Henry Endowment and to other interested parties.