The Emmett F. Thompson Deanship in Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE, has become fully endowed and awarded to the college’s current dean, Janaki Alavalapati.
The deanship, established to honor the college’s founding dean, Emmett F. Thompson, pays homage to his significant legacy.
Thompson, who retired in 1998, began his Auburn career in 1977
as head of the Department of Forestry, which was then part of the School of Agriculture. He went on to establish the School of Forestry as a stand-alone entity, separate from the College of Agriculture, and in 1984, became the school’s first dean.
Among many other accomplishments, Thompson also led the effort
to create the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, a one-of-a-kind facility in Andalusia, Alabama, and he provided the foundational work for the creation of the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment’s state-of-the-art facility, which was completed in 2005.
The deanship is a designated endowed fund used at the discretion of the current dean to direct funds needed to achieve a college’s major goals without undercutting budgetary priorities.
Funds from the deanship will support initiatives to promote excellence in teaching, research, extension and outreach and programs that will promote personal and professional development of students, faculty and staff.
The Thompson Deanship holds a special meaning to the Thompson family. It was established by Thompson’s children, Chuck, Meri and Juli, and received a leadership gift from the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation in addition to gifts from a host of other friends of the college.
“It is an honor to be awarded the Thompson Deanship,” said Alavalapati. “Dr. Thompson was a true pioneer who left and continues to leave an outstanding impact on what we know as the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment today.”
The endowment will take effect on Oct. 1.
(Written by Teri Greene)