The Burger Family of California, Mo., warmed hearts the chilly morning of April 20 during the Morris and Dolores Burger tribute bench dedication hosted by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. The Burgers were joined by their three children, Philip, Steven and Sara (Rohrbach), their spouses, and eight grandsons, who purchased the bench as a Christmas gift to Morris and Dolores. The dedicated bench is located on the northwest end of MU’s Agriculture Building and is part of the Agriculture Building Plaza Landscape completed last fall.
The Burger children learned about the tribute bench program through an alumni publication about the Ag Building landscape project. During the dedication, Philip noted, “When the tribute bench idea was mentioned as a gift for mom and dad, it didn’t take long for us to reach a decision. They’ve been generous with their time and resources. I hope many will enjoy its use and hopefully be inspired knowing someone before them cared enough to give back to their school.” They saw it fitting to honor their parents with a special place on campus, especially near the Agriculture Building. Sara added, “Education has always been important to my parents. For my dad, it seemed like the experiences he had at the University of Missouri really shaped his life forever.”
“In high school, I achieved only what was necessary to get by,” Morris said. “After graduation I honored my respected Aunt Margaret’s suggestion and enrolled at MU for a semester with anticipation of failure and return home to farming. MU, the School of Agriculture and ROTC gave me the opportunity to have a life that would been much different had I not attended.”
Morris graduated from the College of Agriculture in 1957. All three of the Burger children are MU graduates, and four grandsons are currently attending. Morris has been a dedicated volunteer for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and MU for many years.
The landscape of the University of Missouri plays an important role in strengthening the academic environment, providing an educational resource, and enhancing the image of the University. Gifts to the Mizzou Botanic Garden or its endowment fund provide a way for alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to make a vibrant and highly visible contribution. The Tribute Bench program provides individuals the opportunity to honor or remember a family member, cherished friends, or mark a special occasion. Tribute benches include a 2″ x 10″ bronze plaque commemorating the donation. For more information about the Tribute Bench program or the Mizzou Botanic Garden, visit gardens.missouri.edu or call 573-884-6307.