Altman Family Scholarship
&  Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship

Application Deadline – February 1

MS/Ph.D. students only!

Deena and Ken AltmanDeena and Ken Altman

Paul_Ecke_Jr_featuredimagePaul Ecke, Jr.

These two merit-based, prestigious scholarships have been funded by contributions from two industry families to assist in funding the education of floriculture graduate students.

Students have the opportunity to apply for the Altman Family Scholarship and the Paul Ecke, Jr.* Scholarship at the same time!  Each year, one student will be selected for each scholarship.

The primary objective of these scholarships is to assist in funding the education of full-time graduate students (MS or Ph.D.) who will become leading floricultural scientists and educators.

Only one application is needed for the Altman and Ecke scholarships.  Those attending land-grant universities will automatically be considered for the Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship.  All others will only be considered for the Altman Family Scholarship.

*The Ecke scholarship is only for students attending a U.S. land-grant university, e.g., Cornell, Michigan State University, NC State University, The Ohio State University, Texas A&M University, UC Davis, University of Florida, etc.

Altman Family Scholarship
(2016 scholarship – $5,900)

Ken and Deena Altman, owners of Altman Plants, created this scholarship in 2015.   The Altman family is highly appreciative of the field of horticulture and they enjoy giving back.  The Altmans support numerous efforts to improve education and research for the industry.  Altman Plants supplies plant programs to large retailers with point of purchase materials, sales reps to assist with merchandising, a large distribution system that covers the U.S., and offers expertise in growing plants.

Each year one student will be awarded this scholarship.  It is an annual scholarship, although the same person may receive it a second year should their application score the highest.

Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship
(two-year scholarship of $10,000/$5,000 each year)

This scholarship honors the late Paul Ecke, Jr. of Encinitas, Calif., who made indispensable contributions to the advancement of the global floriculture industry. Among his many interests was concern for the future of floriculture, as influenced by innovative research and educational programs. He recognized that creative scientists and educators are required to lead the floral industry in the 21st century and beyond.

Each year, one student will receive $5,000 for two consecutive years, providing that they continue to meet requirements for this duration and submit an annual update.

Previous Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship recipients:
2015 – Daniel Klittich – University of California (UC Davis)
2014 – Joshua Craver – Kansas State University
2014 – Emma Lookabaugh – North Carolina State University
2013 – W. Garrett Owen of North Carolina State University
2010 – Daedre Craig of Michigan State University

Eligibility Requirements

All U.S. citizens, permanent residents and qualified international students are eligible to apply. The applicant must be in the process of successfully completing either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in horticulture or a related field, e.g., agricultural engineering, entomology, agricultural marketing and economics, plant pathology, etc.

Applicants must have the intention of pursuing a MS or Ph.D. degree on a full-time basis in a selected floricultural area and under the direction of a world-renowned floriculture scientist.

Selection Process

The AFE Education Committee will review all applicants and when necessary will conduct personal interviews with applicants prior to finalizing the selection of a scholarship recipient.

Application Requirements and Information

Applicant must submit an online application, and submit all other required information to:

American Floral Endowment
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314

Only one application is needed for the Altman and Ecke scholarships.  Those attending land-grant universities will automatically be considered for the Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship.  All others will only be considered for the Altman Family Scholarship. In addition to the application, the following documents must be submitted directly to AFE by the February 1 deadline:

  • A Personal Statement – prepare a typewritten statement not to exceed two single-spaced typed pages providing: (1) reason for applying for scholarship, (2) personal involvement in floriculture activities, (3) a brief description of your proposed research project and how it will contribute directly or indirectly toward resolving a major floriculture issue and (4) your anticipated future professional goals in floriculture.
  • Letters of Recommendation – three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the applicant’s floriculture-related advisor.
  • Transcripts – official transcripts sent directly from your Office of the Registrar.
  • Video – please supply a short video (up to three minutes) of yourself. In this video, tell the selection committee why you are the best candidate for this scholarship, and describe your current or proposed research project. Videos should be submitted on a CD-ROM, along with your application and letters of recommendation.
  • Photo – please submit a color photo to use for publicity purposes.


Questions?  Contact AFE at