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Marotz named director of McCrory Gardens

Lisa Marotz
Lisa Marotz

David L. Wright, who leads South Dakota State University’s Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, has announced Lisa Marotz ’89 as director of McCrory Gardens effective July 1.

Marotz will oversee the McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center and the botanical gardens. She will manage its strategic business, marketing and staffing functions to ensure McCrory Gardens remains a highly valued asset to South Dakota State University and the city of Brookings. Marotz served as McCrory Gardens’ interim director this past academic year and in that role documented record attendance and sales at the center. More than 42,000 people visited and attended events at McCrory Gardens in 2016 under Marotz’s leadership.

Not only is McCrory Gardens a beautiful botanical garden, it is also a unique regional destination for meetings, conferences and events. “Marotz has an excellent background in the hospitality and dining services industries,” comments Wright. “We look forward to her extensive experience and strong organizational skills taking the McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center to a greater level of guest services and year-round community-focused programming.”

McCrory Gardens began in 1965 to support horticultural research and teaching at South Dakota State University and is named after Samuel McCrory, professor and department head of horticulture. His vision of utilizing the site for the selection, evaluation and display of ornamental plants for South Dakota’s climate still guides much of the work done at the gardens. McCrory Gardens is unique in the nation because of the thousands of species of ornamental plants, placed in harmonious settings. McCrory Gardens has become a highly sought-after regional destination for weddings and business meetings.

Learn more about McCrory Gardens at