Dr. Gary Bennett, a Pest Management Professional (PMP) Hall of Famer (Class of 2006), is retiring after more than five decades at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. His last day is June 30, a day before the university’s new fiscal year begins.
After growing up in the family pest control business in Louisiana, Dr. Bennett has made urban entomology his life’s work, most notably as executive director of Purdue’s Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management. He has been at the helm of the annual Purdue Pest Management Conference since 1971, and at the January 2019 conference was feted for his 50 years of attendance.
Dr. Bennett’s work teaching, researching and presenting has touched countless professionals, from entomologists to PMPs. He is also been a longtime co-author of recent editions of Truman’s Guide to Professional Pest Management Operations.
Dr. Bennett notes that in retirement, he hopes to spend more time with his wife, Milta, and their children and grandchildren. An avid gardener, Dr. Bennett says that he and his wife plan to put in a large vegetable garden this year and also become more involved with the retirement community in which they live. “There’s all sorts of things going on there, various groups and committees that will keep us busy,” he says with a chuckle.
He also plans to stay involved with the Indiana Pest Management Association, for which he is an honorary member. “I’m helping to develop some training programs for them, too,” he tells PMP.
And come January, he promises, “I’m going to try to be at the 2020 Purdue Pest Control conference — as an attendee.”