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Former Arboretum Director posthumously Honored


When Zuk left the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 2005, after a 15-year tenure there, a type of yellow magnolia tree (pictured behind Zuk) was named for her.

Last year, the late Judith Zuk, director of the Scott Arboretum from 1983 to 1990, was honored posthumously when the east entrance to the Scott Amphitheater was dedicated to her. The entrance is now identified by a plaque bearing her name, followed by the words “In memory and appreciation of her vision of the Arboretum as a context for learning.” Zuk died in 2007.

Zuk worked as the Arboretum’s educational coordinator for four years (1977–1981). During her tenure as director, Zuk established the Arboretum Assistants volunteer program and an international travel program as well as dedicating several gardens, among many other activities. Claire Sawyers, current director of the Arboretum, says: “I loved Judy as a friend long before following in her footsteps as director of the Scott Arboretum. As a colleague and mentor, she was always warm, encouraging, and generous. Given she provided entry to horticulture for many with her infectious enthusiasm and generous spirit, it is fitting that the entrance to a very special place here, the Amphitheater, now pays tribute to her and her lasting impact on the development of the Arboretum.” Zuk was a recipient of the Scott Medal in 1998. In 2005, a type of yellow magnolia tree, developed in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where she worked between 1990 and 2005, was named after her. A “Judy Zuk” magnolia grows in the center of the peony garden below the Megan Bevan Terrace between Clothier Hall and Sproul Alumni House.


At the east entrance of the Scott Arboretum a new plaque honors the memory of former director Judy Zuk.

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