Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew Award

The Society annually presents this Award in memory of Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew’s untiring service to the public, to plant systematics, and to this organization.

This award is presented to individuals who have also distinguished themselves in professional and public service that advances our knowledge and appreciation of the world of plants and their scientific, cultural, and aesthetic values, and/or exceptional service to the society.


Award Recipient

Wendy Zomlefer

University of Georgia

Wendy retired from her teaching and curatorial duties at University of Georgia at the end of fall semester 2019. Her dedicated service in these roles will certainly be missed by many colleagues and botanical friends in Georgia and throughout the region. I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive the Bartholomew Award than Wendy Zomlefer.

Her service to the state and region through her role as Curator of the Herbarium is inspirational and seems to parallel that of Betty Bartholomew. During Wendy’s tenure as Curator, the University of Georgia Herbarium (GA) grew by 60,000 specimens, many of these vouchers for field work done by her and her students. She secured funding for and supervised the digitization of GA, with specimen images and data now being served on-line, and she secured funding for substantial infrastructural improvements to secure GA well into the future.

Her teaching in the classroom, through her richly illustrated and widely used Guide to Flowering Plant Families, and through substantial outreach within the state and region is exemplary. Her research and that of her students has contributed greatly to our knowledge of the flora of Georgia, and her dedicated service to SABS and the community of herbarium curators in the state and region has been inspiring.

Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew

Elizabeth Bartholomew Award

Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew (1912-1985) served as the Secretary of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club from 1946 until 1981. Her life was devoted to plants, and she transferred her interest in plants and nature to students of all ages and walks of life.

Requirements and Information
  1. Nominations must be submitted to the comittee chair by Feb 1st.
  2. Current Members of SABS Executive Council or the Bartholomew Award Committee are not eligible.
  3. This award will not be presented posthumously or jointly.
  4. Use the form below to submit a nomination along with all required details.

Nominate a Candidate for the Bartholomew Award

Elizabeth Anne Bartholomew Award Committee

Conley McMullen


Wendy Zomlefer 2020 Bartholomew Award

Wendy Zomlefer

Botanists Honored with the Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew Award

2020 — Wendy Zomlefer

2019 — Mike Held

2018 — no award given

2017 — Conley McMullen

2016 — Lytton Musselman

2015 — Patricia Cox

2014 — Thomas Wentworth

2013 — Stewart Ware

2012 — Audrey Mellichamp

2011 — Charles N. Horn

2010 —  Don Windler

2009 – Charlie Williams

2008 – Michael J. Baranski

2007 – Angus K. Gholson, Jr.

2006 – Joe E. Winstead

2005 – Gary Dillard

2004 – W. Eugene Wofford

2003 – no award

2002 – William H. Martin

2001 – R. Dale Thomas

2000 – C. Ritchie Bell

1999 – Dan Evans

1998 – J. Dan Pittillo

1997 – Donna M. E. Ware

1996 – John M. Herr, Jr.

1995 – James F. Matthews

1994 – James W. Hardin

1993 – Roy B. Clarkson

1992 – Edward E. C. Clebsch

1991 – Albert E. Radford

1990 – Wilbur H. Duncan

1989 – Aaron J. Sharp

Who Was Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew? — A Tribute by SABS Founder, Earl L. Core

She was born June 14, 1912, in Wheeling, West Virginia, the daughter of Henry and Minnie Bartholomew and studied in Wheeling schools, graduating from high school in the spring of 1930. She entered West Virginia University that fall, as a student in education, but interested in natural history. She had been a Girl Scout and had enjoyed fieldwork in summer camp, observing flowers, trees, birds, and other living things.

She graduated from the University in 1934 but continued as a master’s candidate, winning by 1936 a teacher’s certificate and a master’s degree in botany. After a year or two as a part-time teacher, she returned to the University botany department in 1938 as secretary, and, in one capacity or another, has been there ever since.

During these more than four decades she never sought prestige for herself nor increased financial remuneration. Although serving at first as departmental secretary, then as herbarium curator, never teaching a formal course, she was intensely interested in students and their welfare. And students apparently found her ears and heart often more open and more sympathetic to their problems than were their own advisers. Returning alumni frequently visited her before seeing the head of the department or their former teachers.

It was during these early years that, without additional remuneration, she assumed the extra task of maintaining the Southern Appalachian Botanical Club’s mailing lists and seeing to it that the journals got in the mail. Presidents and treasurers of the Club came and went-the secretary seemed to go on forever. In a way it was a thankless job, because the members expected it was going to be done-without it the Club would soon have expired.

It is, therefore, highly appropriate that at last we take time to express our appreciation for her work and it is also, perhaps, appropriate that I serve as spokesman for the Club, because, for most of these years, I was editor of the journal, and, for many of the years, Chairman of the department that employed her. It is a great pleasure to offer these words of tribute.

She has now, inevitably, passed the age of retirement and draws a pension rather than a salary, but continues her work with the Club the same as before without additional remuneration. So dependent, really, is the Club’s membership upon her work, that it is frightening to speculate what will happen when she is finally unable to do it.

These membership routines have, however, been only a relatively small portion of her activities. She has for years served in somewhat the same capacity for the West Virginia Academy of Science with respect to its own membership list and the mailing of its own journal. Academy members owe her the same debt of gratitude for the unpaid work she does for them, also.

Although caring for the University’s collection of dried plants for many years, she always maintained a greater interest in living things, and was an inspirational leader for young people in field trips, much sought throughout the State of West Virginia (and in other States, too) as a natural history guide. She never wrote a book and very few technical papers but she lives in the hearts of hundreds of people who have worked with her, and have known her as Betty.

I have tried to express my appreciation to her through the years, personally and informally, and it gives me great pleasure at this time to be saying the same things more formally and speaking for hundreds of people. We are grateful for all you have done for us, Betty, and we wish you well for years to come. You have left footprints in the sands of time that will never be erased.

~Earl L. Core
Reprinted from Castanea 41(1): 1-3 (1981)