Auburn University’s College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences culminated its 75th anniversary year with a gala at the Gogue Performing Arts Center on April 13 featuring a keynote address and performance by Rolling Stones keyboardist and honorary U.S. Forest Service ranger Chuck Leavell and a proclamation from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
Leavell said he has three real passions: “My family, my trees and my music.” He is a respected authority on forestry and conservation, serving in organizations such as the American Forest Foundation, the U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities and the Georgia Land Conservation Council.
Mary Katherine Pittman from the Office of the Governor presented Ivey’s proclamation to Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, in honor of the college’s anniversary and its recent change in designation from a school to a college.
“Alabama has always had a long history of forestry management,” Ivey said through a video message. “Throughout the years, this college has been a tremendous asset to not only our state, but the entire nation. Auburn is undoubtedly a flagship institution for forestry, wildlife and natural resources.”
Alavalapati recognized Auburn’s leadership and faculty, staff, alumni and friends who have propelled the college forward for the past 75 years to become a premier institution.
He also expressed gratitude to the anniversary celebration organizing committee, which included faculty, staff and distinguished alumni like Glenn Glover, professor emeritus and 1973 forestry graduate; William Green, a 2014 wildlife graduate and current forestry and wildlife divisions director of ALFA Farmer’s Federation and executive director of the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association; and Frank Walburn, a 1979 forestry graduate and Regions Bank senior vice president of natural resources and real estate management.
“Looking toward the next 75 years, we are confident the college will continue to advance as a top-ranked natural resources institution,” said Alavalapati. “We anticipate the college’s teaching, research and outreach programs will prepare the next generation of leaders to expand our knowledge and capabilities to sustainably manage our natural resources for the benefit of all citizens, industries and the environment.”
The evening also included remarks by Auburn President Jay Gogue and Trustee Emeritus Charles McCrary. Mark Smith, professor and Alabama Extension wildlife specialist and anniversary celebration organizing co-chair with Becky Barlow, interim associate dean for extension and professor, recognized the college’s donors and industry sponsors of the gala.
Darryl and Diane Rosser
A gift In Memory of Choppy Bruce Johnson by his sister, Alice Mallory
Larson & McGowin Forest Managers and Consultants, Larson & McGowin Properties and Silvics Solutions
PRADCO Outdoor Brands
Southeastern Land Group
Alabama Forestry Association
Forest Investment Associates
Harrigan Lumber Company
Ketchum Land & Timber
Long Leaf Land & Timber
The Westervelt Company
Ziebach & Webb Timber Company
Alabama Ag Credit Land & Farm Lenders
Alabama Farm Credit
Alabama Wildlife Federation
M.C. Dixon Lumber Company
Natural Resource Consultants
Regions Bank Natural Resources and Real Estate
(Written by Gracen Carter)