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Endowment of $1.4M in gifts and pledges received by Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

October 17, 2007

The MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has received a $1.4 million endowment from the Boone and Crockett Club to further research in order to promote wildlife conservation.

With the endowment, MSU becomes the third school with this distinction, said William Taylor, chairman of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. The University of Montana and Texas A & M University also have Boone and Crockett professorships. The endowment will come from donors to the club.

The endowment will work to develop future leaders in conservation and to keep the public informed about conservation issues. It will provide opportunities for teaching, research and outreach programs as well.

An endowed professorship is one that’s permanently paid for with endowment funds. The professorship will be filled after a nation-wide search. Taylor said the department is looking for a senior-level person with experience in wildlife conservation and other areas.

Currently, there are 47 filled endowed professorships at MSU, said Donna Zischke, associate director of academic human resources.

“We’re looking for somebody who can engage students, who’s engaged in the public arena, and can provide solutions for more sustainable wildlife communities,” Taylor said.

The Boone and Crockett Club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt to further wildlife conservation efforts and protect hunting laws. It has 100 regular members who decided to give MSU an endowed professorship because of their Fisheries and Wildlife program.

The deal for the professorship was signed in December 2006. The official campaign to raise money for the professorship began two weeks ago. The Boone and Crockett position will continue to be funded by donations to the club.

“It shows great respect by Boone and Crockett to come here,” Taylor said.

“This is an example of partners stepping forward and saying we want to make you better.”

Bill Demmer, the vice president of conservation for the Boone and Crockett Club, said the club is looking forward to working with MSU.

“We’re excited to partner with MSU and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife,” Demmer said.

The department does research in a majority of fields on a variety of subjects. Deer, grouse and bobcats are a few of the animals they’ve done research on. They also host a study abroad program in China to study pandas.

With the availability of furthering research in fisheries and wildlife, the department looks forward to the possibility of working with other groups in its research.

“It’s going to be an absolutely wonderful program. We’re going to be leaders in terms of wildlife conservation,” Wildlife Outreach Specialist Jordan Burroughs said.

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