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SFWS Priorities

Because higher education is constantly evolving, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is committed to enabling resources that allow the school to stay at the forefront of forestry, wildlife and natural resources education.  While all gifts help enable the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to rise to new levels of excellence, the following are our current funding priorities.

Naming the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building

Constructed in 2005, the building is situated within Auburn University’s main campus and offers faculty and students state of the art technologies and laboratories, classrooms, libraries, conference rooms, and outdoor spaces for learning and research.

Emmett F. Thompson Deanship Endowment

Deans are responsible for developing a vision and leading schools/colleges to new heights. An endowed deanship provides discretionary funds to support the strategic priorities of current and future deans to move schools/colleges forward and pave the way for future successes. The Emmett F. Thompson Deanship funds will provide support to promote excellence in teaching, research, and extension/outreach and initiate programs to promote personal and professional development of students, faculty, and staff.

Goal: $1 million

Forest, Environment, and Wildlife Leadership (FEWL) Academy Endowment

Established in 2019, the FEWL Academy prepares select students with leadership abilities necessary for the critical problem-solving of issues related to the management, utilization, and stewardship of natural resources. Since its inception, the program has been sponsored by private donations. However, the school’s long-term goal is to establish an endowment to fund this program.

Scholarships and Program Support for New Majors

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences ability to offer scholarships is a key in enabling many bright students across the nation to attend the college who may otherwise be unable to.  We believe in rewarding hard work and thanks to our donors, more than $140,000 in scholarships is awarded to SFWS students annually. Scholarships can be created through two avenues:

  • Annual scholarships begin at $1,000 and are payable each year by February 1.
  • Endowed scholarships: Endowed Scholarships leave a legacy by creating awardable funds from the annual investment return. Endowments can be established with a $25,000 gift and can be paid over a period of five years.

Increase Number of Planned Gifts

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has launched A Lasting Legacy initiative.  Our goal is to increase the amount of planned gifts designated to the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences over the next two years.   Planned giving, along with annual and major giving, helps sustain and support philanthropic investments, better allowing our school to weather fluctuations in charitable giving.

Graduate Support and Fellowships

Increasing the number of graduate degrees awarded is one of the SFWS’s top priorities. Enhancing opportunities to recognize and support graduate students study is important. In addition to furthering their own knowledge, graduate students play crucial roles in the school from supporting undergraduate instruction to advancing research and outreach initiatives. Graduate student support can be provided in two ways:

  • Graduate Fellowships (Endowed or Annual): Graduate Fellowships are the equivalent to undergraduate scholarships and are awarded to graduate students based on academic merit. Named Endowed Fellowships begin at $100,000, payable over 5 years.
  • Partial Tuition Fellowships begin at $25,000 payable over five years
  • Annual Fellowships begin at $1,000 payable each year by February 1.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Graduate assistantships give a student the opportunity to work within their department by participating in teaching, research or extension. An annual assistantship supports a graduate student for one academic term (nine or 12 months). The range of giving is $6,000 to $12,000 per year.

Unrestricted Gifts

In many ways, unrestricted gifts are our most important resource for success. The gifts are unique in that they allow the SFWS to have the necessary means to meet unforeseen needs as they arise. They also allow the school to capitalize on evolving opportunities. Through annual unrestricted gifts, SFWS administrators have the ability to direct funds to our needs that may be insufficiently funded through state appropriations. These are the donations that allow SFWS to secure a huge amount of success. Unrestricted gifts of any amount are vital to the school’s outstanding achievement.

For more information on how you can support these important efforts in the form of cash, securities, and real estate or for information on how to include the school in your estate planning, please contact our Office of Development at or (334) 844-1983.

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