The O.J. Noer Foundation and GCSAA have signed a memorandum of understanding that will bring the O.J. Noer Endowment under the umbrella of the GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG). The transition will be completed by Sept. 30, 2019.
“The O.J. Noer board of directors recognizes that GCSAA has an extremely organized and well-respected research program that receives strong support through donations provided by the EIFG, and that the O.J. Noer legacy could live on and be better served through a newly established EIFG endowment,” the memorandum says.
The O.J. Noer Foundation was founded in 1958 and has supported turfgrass research through grants totaling more than $1.5 million. The foundation was named in honor of the late soil scientist O.J. Noer (pictured above), who was one of the most trusted turfgrass advisers of the 20th century. He is the only three-time winner of GCSAA’s Distinguished Service Award (in 1952, 1959 and 1960), was the recipient of the 1963 USGA Green Section Award, and was posthumously inducted into the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame in 1985.
“GCSAA is proud to continue the dedication to turfgrass research that the O.J. Noer Foundation exhibited in its 60 years of existence,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “We will be good stewards of the endowment, which honors the memory and important work of O.J. Noer.”
In addition to its focus on funding research, the endowment will continue to provide support for the Michigan State University Library, which houses the O.J. Noer collection.
“Just about everyone in the industry, whether they know about him or not, owes their livelihood to him,” Alan Nees, president of the O.J. Noer Foundation, says of Noer. “As members of our board have retired, it’s been harder to promote the foundation and do all the things we wanted to do. With GCSAA and the EIFG, when we considered what all they have been able to do, it seemed like the perfect fit to line up with our goals and objectives.”
Members of the current O.J. Noer Foundation board will serve on the GCSAA committee that will determine the research proposal and selection process for the endowment.