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Altman Family Scholarship &  Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship

Application Deadline – February 1

MS/Ph.D. students only!



Two merit-based, prestigious floriculture scholarships have been established to assist in supporting 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.

Deena and Ken Altman

Deena and Ken Altman

Altman Family Scholarship
(one-year scholarship of $5,000)

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.
Previous Altman Family Scholarship recipients:

2022 – Three students were awarded $5,000 each:

2021 – Two students were awarded $5,400 each:

2020 – Four students were awarded $5,000 each:

2019 – Three students:

2018 – Two students were awarded $5,000 each:

2017 – Three students were awarded $5,000 each:

2016 – One student was awarded $5,000:


Paul Ecke, Jr.

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:

2022 – Juan Quijia Pillajo – The Ohio State University
2021Caleb Spall– Michigan State University/Second Year Report
2020 – Annika Kohler – Michigan State University/Second Year Report
2019 – Mary Lewis – University of Georgia/Second Year Report
2018 – Melissa Muñoz – Clemson University/Second Year Report
2017 – Kaylee South – The Ohio State University – OARDC
2016 – Kellie Walters – Michigan State University
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 – North Carolina State University
2010 – Daedre Craig – 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

Submit your online application, Be sure you have your personal statement, letters of recommendation, photo, and video ready to upload at the same time.  Official transcripts and videos (if necessary) can be emailed to
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.
Prior to completing the online application, please gather/prepare the following documents:

  • A Personal Statement – prepare a typewritten statement not to exceed two single-spaced typed pages providing: (1) reason for applying for a 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.  We only need transcripts from your current program unless you have yet to receive a semester of grades, then please provide a transcript from your most recent prior institution. Please mail or email.
    • Email:
    • Mail: American Floral Endowment
      610 Madison Street, Ste 101 PMB 803
      Alexandria, VA 22314
  •  Video – Please supply a short video (up to three minutes) of yourself. In this video, you want to communicate to the selection committee why you are the best candidate for this scholarship.  Be sure to describe or show your current or proposed research project.  We are looking for creativity and personality in these videos. Show your passion and consider adding slides and/or pictures to add depth to the video.  Please Note: Due to file uploading restrictions on our server, if you are unable to submit your video please send a link to your video to  We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • Photo – please submit a color photo to use for publicity purposes.

Gathered your materials? Ready to fill out the application? Access it here! 
Questions? Contact AFE at