The upcoming Stephen F. Austin State University Regents Lecture will compare SFA's role in educating and nurturing students to the process of horticulture.

Dr. David L. Creech, former Regents Professor and SFA professor emeritus of horticulture, will deliver the address, "Is SFA more than just another pretty face?"

"If you think about it, we're all here to educate, entertain and enlighten," Creech said. "There's not a lot of difference between planting a seed in a pot and planting an idea in a student's head. Both involve watering, fertilizing, pruning and training-it's all about nurturing."

The lecture will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, in the Nelson Rusche College of Business Lecture Hall, located in SFA's McGee Business Building, Room 133. Refreshments will be served following the lecture. There is no admission charge.

Creech earned a Ph.D. in horticulture from Texas A&M University in College Station. He holds a B.S. in horticulture from Texas A&M and an M.S. in horticulture from Colorado State University.

Creech joined the faculty in SFA's Department of Agriculture in 1978 and attained the rank of professor in 1986. He earned the Regents Professor designation from SFA in 2002-2003.

He traces the 30-year history of SFA Gardens from a small spot on the south side of the Agriculture Building to the SFA Mast Arboretum, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the Pineywoods Native Plant Center and now SFA's new Recreational Trail and Gardens on University Drive.

"But when it comes right down to it," he said, "I suspect the most important part of SFA Gardens is the environmental education program-especially the part directed at about 12,000 children each year."

Creech said connecting kids to the natural world is no easy chore these days. "But when it's done in the right setting with the right people and good programming, it works," he said.

Creech admits to being a compulsive plant hunter, especially when it comes to trees. "Plant hunters are never far from snips, labels and a poly bag for cuttings and seed," he said.

This is the fifth in a series of lectures delivered by SFA Regents Professors. The series is sponsored by the SFA Office of the Provost and the University Lecture Series Committee.