When Monmouth College students asked for some college land to plant a community garden in 2010, President of Monmouth College Mauri Ditzler ’75 had no trouble saying “of course!” and the beginning of the Monmouth College Educational Garden was launched.
Now the students live in a house and tend, harvest, and cook their own food. The story made page 1 of the Chicago Tribune News section yesterday – click here to read the story and Mauri’s comments about this down-to-earth project.
Gardens and farms and land are a natural for Mauri. Sure, his Wabash education has led to a life of academia (PhD in analytical chemistry), educator (professor of Chemistry at College of Holy Cross ), Dean of a College (Millikin University and Wabash), and currently College President (Monmouth College).
But even while he was at Wabash, he admitted his heart was down on the farm – his own pre-Civil war home on land near the family farm in Parke County, Indiana where he grew up. Mauri and his own family harvested their own produce, so he had a taste for natural home-grown goodness. As a hobby, he rebuilt the barns and buildings on his property, and he had a sideline business of detassling corn. He understood the Monmouth students’ yearning to live off of land — land that was actually destined to be paved for a parking lot before they took it over. Good save!
Photo courtesy of
Monmouth College web site.