Richard C. Bumstead’s Legacy and 35 Years of Stewardship

FS staff gathered to celebrate and honor the impactful work of Richard C. Bumstead, Associate Director for Campus Environment in Facilities Services. During his impromptu yet heartfelt remarks, Bumstead shared, “I leave a legacy and I believe it will keep growing.”

Under Bumstead’s oversight, what was a limited collection of gardens, trees, and lawns became a 217-acre flourishing landscape filled with plants selected specifically for Chicago’s soil and climate conditions. Last year, the University celebrated the 20th anniversary of receiving the botanic garden designation from the American Public Garden Association. And earlier this year, Bumstead received the Merit Award on behalf of the University at the ILASLA awards ceremony. Click here for the related story.

Bumstead stated, “I started right out of grad school and didn’t expect to be here all these years. But what kept me here is knowing that my work mattered.” Prior to starting his career at the University, Bumstead earned a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois.

Bumstead worked closely with a variety of donors in developing various gardens throughout campus as well as collaborating with capital projects to ensure that surrounding landscapes add to the vitality of the campus.  He was also responsible for carefully orchestrating the seasonal display gardens and container plantings on campus throughout the year.

In addition to 35 years of cultivating the gardens and donor interest, Bumstead’s professional impact reached beyond the Hyde Park campus. He served on two of the City of Chicago’s Landscape Advisory Committees and as a guest studio critic and lecturer at nearby universities. He also authored numerous articles about gardens and gardening.

As many of his coworkers wished him well and asked him what he’d miss most, Bumstead replied, “I will miss the people that I have worked with.” While Bumstead will certainly be missed, his impact on the campus environment assures that he will not be forgotten.

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