Dr. Theresa B. Felder, president of Harford Community College, presented the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award to Charles and Richard Bauer, owners of Flowers by Bauers, at the College’s 63rd Annual Commencement Ceremony that was held virtually on May 27, 2021. Recipients of the award must attain outstanding success in their chosen profession, demonstrate a commitment to the community, and maintain an interest in and service to Harford Community College.
“Harford Community College was the root of our success. Our start here gave us the foundation to bloom into Flowers by Bauers,” said Charles Bauer.
After graduating from Harford in 1975, the identical twin brothers continued their studies at the University of Maryland and earned degrees in horticulture, agronomy, and business. They opened Flowers by Bauers in Jarrettsville, Maryland, and for more than 40 years, they have operated both a retail store and a very prosperous greenhouse and wholesale operation.
The Bauers are true innovators in the implementation of hydroponic growing systems. Their use of perlite, an amorphous volcanic glass, in the growing process has garnered both national and international recognition. As a result of their work, they were invited to participate in a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and they have also been invited by the International Perlite Institute to speak in Canada, France and Australia.
Generous supporters of Harford Community College, the Bauers annually donate nearly 1,000 roses to the Harford Community College Alumni and Friends Scholarship Association. The Association sells the flowers during Commencement to raise funds for its scholarships and programs. They also generously donate arrangements for other Harford Community College Foundation events throughout the year.
In addition to their gifts of time, talent, and resources, the Bauers are strong advocates for the quality of education provided by Harford and encourage students to start at the community college. To current and future Harford students, Charles and Richard share this advice: “You have the power in your hands to succeed. HCC provided us with the tools and motivation we needed to be successful. You can follow a similar path to success through Harford.”