F&ES Launches a $60 Million Capital Campaign

The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) has launched the public phase of a major campaign that will seek a minimum of $60 million, primarily to support faculty endowment, student scholarships and a new “green” facility for the school.

The campaign announcement was made on October 25 by President Richard C. Levin to members of the school’s Leadership Council during a reception at the Yale University Art Gallery.

According to the President, $32.2 million has been raised so far, including more than $25 million for core endowment and facilities needs. “The school has made remarkable progress under Dean Speth’s leadership,”said Levin. “It is well on the way to its goal of international preeminence in environmental education and research.”

F&ES Dean James Gustave Speth praised the hundreds of alumni and friends who have supported the campaign. He offered special thanks to Edward P. Bass ‘67 B.S., ‘72 Art.A., co-chair of the Leadership Council and a fellow of the Yale Corporation, for his “extraordinary lead gift.” Bass, who is chair and chief executive officer of Fine Line Inc., a venture and investment capital company in Fort Worth, Texas, is a longtime supporter of environmental programs. He was co-founder of the Biosphere 2 laboratory for the study of the Earth’s ecosystems and is chair of the executive committee of the World Wildlife Fund.

“Ed Bass’s support of interdisciplinary science, here at Yale and elsewhere, is unrivaled and exemplary,” Speth said. “His new gift has given tremendous momentum to our effort. And, even more importantly, it will have a powerful and enduring impact on our school.”

Bass said: “Yale University is moving forward in environmental studies on several fronts, and all of it is exciting and important. But the work of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies is particularly essential, because it is there where tomorrow’s environmental leaders are being prepared. And these are the individuals - broadly trained in science, management and policy - who will largely determine our success in meeting the environmental challenges of the new century.”

Frances Beinecke ‘71 B.A., ‘74 M.F.S., the other co-chair of the F&ES Leadership Council, and her family have provided major support for another key campaign objective - significantly strengthening the school’s scholarship endowment. Beinecke, who is executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, noted that her family’s gift will establish two endowments at the school - one for domestic students the other for international students.

“As a graduate of F&ES, and as someone who has heard Dean Speth speak eloquently and passionately about the importance of bringing the very best students in the world here to Yale, it became clear to me and my family where our support should go,” said Beinecke. “As co-chairs of the school’s Leadership Council, Ed Bass and I are enormously excited by Dean Speth’s vision for the school, and we are absolutely committed to seeing that he, the faculty and the students have all the resources necessary to fulfill their ambitious and important objectives. I know that others who have made substantial gifts as part of the school’s campaign strongly share that view.”

In addition, James H. Clark ‘58 B.A., a Leadership Council member and managing general partner of Clark Partnership Ltd. in Dallas, Texas, has provided a major life income gift that will help build a strong foundation of long-term support for the school.

Three endowed chairs also have been established as part of the campaign. Yale alumnus Joseph F. Cullman ‘35 B.A., chair emeritus of the Philip Morris Co., recently announced that he will endow “The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd ‘35 Professorship” in wildlife, ecology and biodiversity. Sally Brown ‘48 Grd., a noted environmentalist and member of the Leadership Council, and her son, Owsley Brown II ‘64 B.A., chief executive officer of Brown Forman Corp., have also agreed to establish a new endowed chair in the area of climate and energy. Earlier in the campaign, a gift from Joan and Richard Tweedy created the Tweedy/Ordway Professorship in Social Ecology, now occupied by Professor Stephen Kellert. Now retired, Richard Tweedy ‘41 B.A., ‘48 LL.B. was an attorney with the law firm Winthrop Stimson et al.

In addition, Gilman Ordway ‘47 B.A., owner of Fishcreek Ranch in Wyoming, recently agreed to make a substantial lead gift in support of the design and construction of the planned new facility. The new building will bring the entire F&ES program, now scattered among six locations, into a single interconnected complex. In addition, according to Speth, “we intend for it to be a model for sustainable environmental design and resource efficiency-for our area, the nation, and the world.” Ordway’s gift brings the total raised for the new facility to $13 million, or about half its anticipated cost.

Speth said the campaign has been strongly supported by the school’s graduates as well as significant numbers of other Yale alumni committed to environmental problem-solving and building environmental leadership at Yale. The school has also been successful in securing major grants from several leading foundations, including the Henry R. Luce Foundation, which provided a major grant to establish a program in industrial ecology in Asia. Speth added that the school will continue to pursue grants from foundation and corporate supporters to help build program strength in such areas as climate change, conservation and biodiversity, tropical forestry, environmental management and law and policy.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326