World Orchid Conference
Tom Sheehan -
Thomas J Sheehan's list of accomplishments is so extensive that it would take a long time to enumerate them; I
will just mention some of the highlights.
Dr Sheehan is a Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the
University of Florida. While he taught various floriculture courses, he loved orchidology and continued to teach
that after retiring in 1991. He was a graduate student advisor just last year, which means he has been teaching for
some 60 years or so.
He has been an invited speaker at 10 WOC's as well as being Program Chairman for the 11th WOC in
Miami, Florida. Although not always a speaker, it is amazing to realise that he has attended 19 of the 21 WOC's,
missing only the 1st and 4th.
Tom has had the pleasure of speaking to orchid societies around the world, including Australia, Bermuda, Canada,
East Africa, Germany, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.
The American Orchid Society has recognised Tom with its most prestigious award, the Gold Medal of Achievement,
as well as naming him an Honorary Vice President of the Society. He has also received numerous other awards from
orchid interests, as well as academic institutions.
He has authored books about orchids as well as serving as co-author with his beloved wife, Marion, of the
longest-running series - Orchid Genera Illustrated - in the American Orchid Society's monthly magazine, Orchids. It
began in 1967 and ran for 186 months.
I could go on and on, but I'd rather ask Tom to come forward and receive the WOC Trust's highest award, its Gold
Peter Furniss & Kiat Tan, Johannesburg, September 2014
Tom Sheehan passed away on May 24 2016 at the age of 92.