Robert E. Basye Endowed Chair in Rose Breeding
Dr. Robert Basye planted the seed for the Endowment with his tremendous gift of leadership, germplasm collection, and unprecedented vision for the future of roses. While pursuing a career as a professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University, Dr. Basye bred roses for over 50 years. During this time, he sought to produce roses that were genetically resistant to the black spot disease.
Following his retirement from Texas A&M, he continued to breed roses on his 50-acre property in Caldwell, Texas. Located approximately 20 miles southwest of Bryan-College Station, the environment in Caldwell offered Dr. Basye the same rose-growing challenges that we endure at the University. Dr. Basye believed that disease resistance lay in the genomes of many of the old species of roses, specifically in the cultivars that showed a once-blooming cycle in the spring while sporting healthy vigorous foliage for the duration of the growing season. He made great strides in incorporating that resistance into the progeny with which we are working today.
Dr. Basye died in 2000. His knowledge and enthusiasm are greatly missed.