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Feature

Alumni pool gifts to qualify for match

From M, fall 2004

A 46th class reunion held last year at the College of Natural Resources' centennial celebration has turned into a class gift to future generations of graduates: an endowed scholarship eligible for the President's Scholarship Match. And the class gift is still building, headed for a goal of $50,000.

Three 1957 grads of the College of Natural Resources, then known as the College of Forestry, were principally responsible for planting the seed: Dick Waring, Ted Hullar, and Bob Herbst. At a reunion dinner for classmates, past deans of the school, and professors emeriti, the three--each a noted academic or public servant in his own right--"paid homage to the professors who inspired us" and pointed out to classmates "how fortunate our class was compared to others," says Waring, a professor emeritus of forest ecology at Oregon State University.

"Most of us were members of the first generation to graduate from college in our families," Waring says, and in an era of economic growth and expansion of the U.S. Forest Service, "we had the best job opportunities since the college was established." Moreover, even adjusted for inflation, "our cost for tuition, board, and room was a third to half of what is now required, so we graduated without debt."

"In gratitude, and as a legacy, we who attended our 46th reunion voted to establish a minimum $50,000 scholarship fund," says Hullar, a former professor of biochemistry at universities in New York and California and chancellor of two University of California campuses.

Herbst, Minnesota's first commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and undersecretary and later acting secretary of the Department of the Interior in the Carter and Reagan administrations, says the group is contacting their classmates before they gather in Cloquet, Minnesota, in 2007 for their 50th reunion. "We're writing letters to everyone and making follow-up calls," he says. "We think we'll make it to $50,000. What we're really hopeful for is that the idea will spread to other classes."