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Elizabeth Weaver ’57

An alumna’s love of plants and gardens led her to include a major bequest in her Will to create an endowment that is now providing perennial support for the horticultural program at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

In September 2018, the university Board of Trustees approved the naming of the Elizabeth Weaver Director of Horticulture at Cornell Botanic Gardens. The named position honors Elizabeth Weaver ’57, who designated her estate gift for an endowment to support the ongoing care, management, and enhancement of the horticultural collections.

“Elizabeth Weaver’s generosity is an investment in our mission and a statement of confidence in our work,” said Christopher Dunn, the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director of Cornell Botanic Gardens. “Her foresight in designating the gift to establish an endowment means that we will have a permanent stream of income to support the director of horticulture position, as well as to create exciting gardens that help nurture the connections people have to plants.”

Liz Weaver majored in history in Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. She went on to become a Russia specialist at the National Security Agency, and also worked for the Library of Congress. In addition to including the Botanic Gardens in her Will, in 2012 she established two charitable remainder trusts at Cornell for the benefit of her niece and nephew. When the trusts terminate, the proceeds will be added to the Weaver endowment, increasing its annual payout to support the Botanic Gardens.

The horticulture director at Cornell Botanic Gardens has principal responsibility for the curatorial vision and stewardship of the botanic gardens’ diverse collections of more than 10,000 accessioned plants and 3,000 trees. The director supervises a staff of 18 and oversees the maintenance and enhancement of the cultivated gardens around the Nevin Welcome Center and the F. R. Newman Arboretum.

For more information about how you can create your own legacy at Cornell Botanic Gardens, click here or contact Lynn Swain at 607-255-7416 or