OAC alumna donates turf book collection to U of G | Ontario Agricultural College

OAC alumna donates turf book collection to U of G

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2023

a photo of UofG's Cam Shaw and Marie Thorne
UofG's Cam Shaw (L) and OAC alumna Marie Thorne (R)

Marie Thorne, a trailblazer in the turf industry for the past 30 years, has donated the gift of knowledge to her alma matter. Thorne has donated her vast turf industry book collection to the University of Guelph in support of OAC’s renowned turf management program

“It’s all in support of the students,” says Thorne. “It feels good to provide a lasting resource to the next generation of turfgrass professionals”. Thorne’s donation comes at a time when the U of G Diploma in Turfgrass Management (DTM) was reviewing their current textbook collection and archives in the MacLaughlin Library. 

“Throughout her impressive career, Marie has amassed an impressively diverse and valuable treasure trove of turfgrass management books” says Cam Shaw, Manager of the U of G’s DTM program.

“Her personal library covers all aspects of the industry such as: fundamentals of irrigation, drainage, soils, pathology, insect pests, golf design and architecture, as well as more modern principles in sustainability, land stewardship and ecology on golf courses. We are so grateful for Marie’s thoughtful gift.” 

The books will be housed at the Institute, as well as within MacLaughlin Library’s turf reserve collection to increase accessibility and visibility for U of G turf students. 

Thorne hopes that students will never stop enjoying the tactile pleasure of reading and learning from a book. “I’ve always found picking up a book can truly be a welcome alternative to surfing and scrolling,” said Thorne. 

She remembered the late Gord Witteveen who frequently sold books at golf conferences. “He was always eager to make a sale,” she said. “I’d happily return home with a stack of the latest editions”. Thorne’s donated collection includes such classics such as the late Houston Couch’s Diseases of Turfgrasses and Creeping Bentgrass Management by Peter Dernoeden. “Turf books are like buying shoes” she chuckled, “When you’re in the biz, you can’t get enough of them”. 

Thorne hopes that this donation will inspire others to do the same.

Learn more about OAC’s diploma in Turfgrass Management.

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