Kimball T. Harper Botany Endowed Scholarship

Kimball and Caroline Harper established the Kimball T. Harper Endowed Botany Fund in 1999 to encourage students from all walks of life to better understand and appreciate the flora of their region through study and scholarship. Harper believes that education is a precursor to positive change with regard to protecting and nurturing fragile ecosystems.

The scholarship is awarded to botany students at UVU who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Botany, have sponsorship from an appropriate UVU botany faculty member, and have successfully completed their first three semesters.

For most of his life, Harper has been fascinated by the relationship between humankind and the natural environment, particularly plants. As a boy growing up in southern Idaho, he saw firsthand the effects people and the environment have on crops. He experimented with plant growth by adding phosphorus, nitrogen, and other minerals to the soil. Though many of his experiments failed, he learned invaluable lessons and nurtured his interest in plant life.

Harper studied agronomy at Brigham Young University and pursued his research interests: plant taxonomy and ecology. After completing his undergraduate work, he went on to study the effects of grazing on vegetation as a graduate student at BYU and then analyzed forest soils of the Great Lakes region as a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin.

Harper began his academic career in 1963 as a faculty member in the University of Utah’s biology department. A decade later he moved to Utah Valley University, where he taught, advised, mentored and inspired hundreds of budding botanists. Following his retirement in 1997, he volunteered as a scholar in residence at UVU, lending his time and expertise to the College of Science and Health and, specifically, the UVU herbarium. His approach to education—namely facilitating student interaction with plants in the lab and in the field—is illustrative of UVU’s emphasis on engaged learning.