Memorial service for Ray Collett at UCSC Arboretum April 29

Ray Collett

A public memorial service for Ray Collett, founding director of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at the Arboretum.

It will be a gathering "to celebrate Ray and his beloved Arboretum with friends, students, and colleagues," said current Arboretum director Brett Hall.

Collett, a professor emeritus of natural history, died February 22 at the age of 79. He taught courses in a wide variety of disciplines and worked with students, donors, volunteers, and staff to create a well-loved botanical garden at UC Santa Cruz. Collett introduced many new plants to horticulture in the United States and received awards for his work from the American Horticultural Society and the California Horticultural Society.

The Arboretum has also planned a series of occasional lectures in memory of Collett. The first of the Ray Collett Rare and Extraordinary Plants Lectures will be held at the Arboretum on Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m., preceded by a 6 p.m. potluck. The talk, "Survivors from an Ancient World: The Extraordinary Flora of New Caledonia," by Chad Husby of the Montgomery Botanical Center, will touch on some of the Arboretum's New Caledonian plants. New Caledonia is an archipelago long separated geographically from other land masses in the southern Pacific. Collett collected or arranged for the collection of many of the Arboretum's New Caledonian plants.

For more information about these events, contact the Arboretum at (831) 427-2998.