Patrick O'Connor of Metairie, Louisiana, was awarded the Society for Louisiana Irises (SLI) Distinguished Merit Award at its recent convention in Dallas, Texas. O'Connor, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, is Director of Research and Development at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Health Care Services Division. He has a doctorate in political science.


Pat joined the Society for Louisiana Irises in 1975, and he began hybridizing LA irises shortly thereafter. His first named variety, 'Southdowns,' was registered in 1980.

Having served SLI as a vice president and on the board of directors, Pat extended his service in 1999 by becoming editor of the SLI Newsletter. During his five years as editor, Pat took the official SLI journal to new heights of recognition for design, good editing, and in-depth, well written articles. He continues as an Assistant Editor, and he is still a prolific contributor to the journal. The Distinguished Merit Award was presented in recognition of all these many contributions to SLI. This is the highest award sponsored by the Society for Louisiana Irises.