This scholarship was set up by donors wishing to recognize Dr. Robert E. Thornton, Extension Vegetable Specialist at WSU, for his contributions to the Washington potato industry over his thirty-five year career. As Washington State Potato Conference Committee Chairman, he has provided leadership in making the WA State Potato Conference and Trade Show the preeminent potato educational meeting of its type in the world. Dr Thornton has been a key participant in the evaluation and introduction of new potato cultivars for the industry through the Tri-State Varietal Development. During his career, he has involved in the development and introduction of new and adapted potato cultivars and in developing solutions to solve important industry problems.
The proceeds from the endowment may be used to provide fellowship stipends to be used by the recipient for such things as tuition and fees, subsistence, research expenses, and other educationally related costs. This fellowship is to be open to any graduate student in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture who is working with potatoes or other vegetables as a major part of his or her program of study.