University News

Western Illinois University alumnus Dennis Lubbs and his, wife, Kathy Lubbs.
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Dennis A. Lubbs Memorial Geography Scholarship Established

August 8, 2016

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - -Western Illinois University geography graduate Dennis Lubbs and his wife, Kathy, founded Genesis Nursery, Inc. 26 years ago. The two spent the last few decades working near Tampico, IL, where their company specializes in wholesale, commercial, institutional and agriculture sales. The nursery has grown from 15 to 375 acres, with approximately 400 native species established on their farm. Thanks to that success, Kathy wanted to honor her husband after he passed away in the spring. She chose WIU as the place to do so because Dennis was a WIU alumnus, as are her daughter and son-in-law.

"I believe Dennis would have wanted a scholarship funded in order to provide the opportunity for higher learning … he would have been extremely happy and perhaps a little taken aback by the attention it has received," stated Kathy.

Lubbs' wife Kathy said that she wanted to establish a scholarship in Dennis' name "so his legacy will survive through the enrichment of others."

Dennis graduated from WIU with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974 and a Master of Arts degree in 1977, both in geography. His emphasis of study was physical geography with minors in urban and community studies. Dennis was the vice president of Genesis Nursery, Inc., a 375-acre native prairie seed and plant supplier. He and Kathy hold a lengthy resume of involvement with a number of conservation organizations, including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau County Soil and Water Conservation District, where both served in a variety of capacities on boards and committees.

Because of their hard work and success, Kathy recently donated $102,750 to establish the Dennis A. Lubbs Memorial Geography Scholarship in her husband's memory. This amount was given to not only establish the endowed scholarship but to make sure a scholarship is given in Dennis' name this fall semester. This annual scholarship will be awarded to a graduate student majoring in geography who is active and involved within the WIU Department of Geography and/or the community. The scholarship will be automatically renewed for a second year as long as the student maintains a certain GPA and continues to major in geography.

Kathy hopes the scholarship will help attract strong candidates to Western's geography program. She stated that the scholarship is intended for "someone who believes in volunteerism and stewardship; in the expansion and disbursement of knowledge and in the idea that knowledge and learning are not just for personal gain, but also for the greater good."

Kathy described her husband as someone who was very generous to many organizations, and now his memory can live on at Western and help future graduate students majoring in geography.

"There are not a lot of scholarships available for graduate degrees. I believe this will help provide the opportunity for students to focus on studies over the financial stress that can sometimes come with school," stated Kathy.

"As someone who completed two degrees at Western Illinois University, Dennis Lubbs knew what a geography degree from WIU could do for one's career. We are very grateful that Kathy wanted to honor her late husband by establishing this scholarship, and we look forward to awarding it to a graduate student this fall for the first time," stated Brad Bainter, vice president of Advancement and Public Services.

Posted By: Amanda Shoemaker, WIU Foundation & Development (
Office of University Communications & Marketing