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Casey Sclar Named Next Arboretum Director

Casey Sclar, the executive director of the American Public Gardens Association, will serve as the next director of Penn State’s Arboretum, the university announced this week. Sclar’s appointment will begin in August.

“I want to bring people, plants, partnerships, and pollinators together with my passion for the art, science, and business of horticulture, and lead The Arboretum at Penn State to its brightest future,” Sclar said in a release. “I believe that right now it’s the perfect intersection of all those things and a great chance to build on a fabulous University vision.”

In his current role, Sclar helps oversee more than 600 public gardens throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and more than 20 other countries. In total, his public gardens host more than 121 million visitors a year.

“Casey will bring his broad expertise to Penn State, along with a solid understanding of teaching, research and engagement, and a deep appreciation and strong track record of fostering inclusion and access in public garden settings,” said Tracey Huston, Penn State’s vice president for outreach.

Sclar will succeed Sanford “Sandy” Smith, who has served as the Arboretum’s interim director since founding director Kim Steiner’s retirement in 2021.

Prior to his appointment at the American Public Gardens Association, Sclar spent 15 years championing plant health care efforts at Longwood Gardens over in Chester County. A 25-year Pennsylvania resident, he received his master’s degree and a doctorate in entomology from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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