Dean Lee and Laurel Bridgman receive the Society for Louisiana Irises Distinguished Merit AwardDean Lee and Laurel Bridgman receive Distinguished Merit Award At the 1993 Spring Meeting and Show, SLI officials announced that long-time members William Dean Lee and Laurel Bridgman of Magnolia, Texas won the Society's prestigious Distinguished Merit Award. The award is bestowed by the SLI Board of Directors in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of Louisiana irises. 
Dean joined the Society in the late 1940s and has remained active and involved in SLI since that time. Horticulture has been a life-long hobby, and he acquired a broad knowledge of the subject. His interest in Louisiana irises led to a number of contributions to their cause.