Lanier J. Edwards of Eufaula, Ala., has established the Lanier J. Edwards Family Endowed Scholarship in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment.
Edwards was born in Ball Ground, Ga., on his family’s farm, which was later recognized by the state of Georgia for its contribution to state history as a working farm in operation more than 100 years. Love for the land was a lesson Edwards learned early, and his career in the forest industry has spanned multiple ventures and two countries.
Edwards earned associate and bachelor’s degrees from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga., and the University of Georgia, respectively, and ran a successful wood supplier company, Timberland Harvesters, LLC, for
more than 30 years. Alongside this company, he grew a trucking company in partnership with his brother, Kenneth Edwards, into a fleet of more than 200 trucks.
Throughout his career, Edwards used his knowledge of forest management to purchase land, improve it and merchandise it for the final owner. He has purchased over 520,000 acres of land in the Southeast and one tract of land in Canada. Edwards is proud of a lifetime dedicated to being a good steward of the land and developing wildlife habitats for his favorite animals, such as quail, turkey and deer. Of all the pieces of land he has owned, his favorite tract is his second home at Holly Hill Plantation in Albany, Ga. He enjoys entertaining family and friends there by hunting quail and telling stories.
Edwards is also well known for his passionate support for University of Georgia, or UGA, football. A student feature from 2015 showcased Edwards’
game-day home brimming with memorabilia, fan art and football team merchandise. Edwards chose to give back to Auburn University in recognition
of the many opportunities the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment has given him over the years to meet others in outdoors careers. “The state of Alabama has so many great people in the profession of forest management, and I’m blessed to have worked my entire career in this state,” he said.
The Lanier J. Edwards Family Scholarships will be available to any student enrolled in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment who demonstrates good academic standing as well as financial need. Each scholarship is for one academic year, but recipients may be considered in subsequent years.
“Lanier Edwards knows the difference a scholarship like this can make in the entire trajectory of a student’s life,” said Dean Janaki Alavalapati. “The state of Alabama is fortunate to count him among its citizens, and Auburn University
is grateful for his generous gift.”