Environmental Studies Professorship Endowed by Darien Woman

A permanent professorship in environmental studies will be created at Yale through $4 million bequeathed by Joan Tweedy of Darien, a lifelong conservationist.

Under the terms of her will, Tweedy will leave the gift to Yale to endow the Tweedy/Ordway Professorship at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

“My legacy to Yale is an investment in the kind of world I want my grandchildren to live in,” she said. “I’ve seen first hand, both here and abroad, the conservation achievements the school’s graduates can bring about, and I want to ensure that future graduates are equally well-prepared to find solutions to our environmental problems.”

Yale University President Richard C. Levin, expressing his gratitude for the gift, said Tweedy’s “far-sighted generosity will have a lasting impact on the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The Tweedy gift underscores the University’s commitment to one of the critical needs of our own time and the future. The gift will help ensure the School’s continuing distinction and leadership as it pursues its vitally important mission.”

Since its founding in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has been a preeminent leader in environmental education and research. Under its new dean, James Gustave Speth, former administrator of the United Nations Development Program, and the founder and president of the World Resources Institute, the school has embarked on an aggressive agenda. Major investments are planned over the next several years to expand the size of the faculty; increase student scholarships; expand research and policy analysis capabilities; and to construct a major new facility that would not only house the school, but also serve as an environmental center for Yale.

“Joan Tweedy’s magnificent endowment gift launches the School into its second century,” Speth said. “Her support will help us nurture new thinking and a new generation of environmental leaders needed to solve the complex environmental problems our 21st Century world faces.”

Tweedy is a lifelong conservationist with a strong commitment to biodiversity protection and land preservation. Both she and her husband, Richard Tweedy, also have strong individual and family ties to Yale.

Joan Tweedy is the sister of Gilman Ordway, a 1947 Yale College graduate who operates a ranch in Wyoming and has been a generous supporter of the university. Her father, Samuel G. Ordway, was a 1908 Yale College graduate.

Richard Tweedy is a graduate of the Yale College Class of 1941 and of the Yale Law School in 1948. Yale graduates in his family include his father, Class of 1897S, and sons David B. Tweedy ‘73, Richard B. Tweedy, Jr. ‘74, and Jonathan W. Tweedy ‘79. Richard Tweedy served many years as a partner with the Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts law firm office in Connecticut, and has been active in many organizations in Stamford and Darien. Richard was a volunteer for the “…and for Yale” campaign’s Darien and New Canaan Committee and has been a generous contributor to Yale.

Reflecting her wish to help the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies now, Joan Tweedy has made a substantial contribution toward her bequest intention. The interest from the gift will be used by Speth to advance the initiatives of the Yale-Environment New Century Fund, which include faculty development and new graduate and undergraduate courses.

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