Speth Scholarship Established at F&ES In Honor of Outgoing Dean

As Gus Speth prepares to step down later this June after serving 10 years as dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), alumni, faculty and friends of the school continue to make new gifts and pledges to a minimally endowed $1 million scholarship fund named after him and his wife.

The Cameron and Gus Speth Fund for Financial Aid, established in 2007 by the late Strachan Donnelley ‘64, earmarks scholarships to F&ES students pursuing a Master of Environmental Management, Master of Forestry, Master of Forest Science or Master of Environmental Science degree.

Donnelley set up the Speth Fund to address a critical need at F&ES to alleviate student educational debt and in recognition of Speth’s commitment to recruit the most qualified and committed students from around the world, regardless of their financial circumstances. Speth made shoring up financial aid and scholarships a top priority during his tenure. From 2000 to 2008 he increased the average award per F&ES scholarship recipient from $7,282 to $18,954.

The campaign to raise new gifts for the Speth Fund began in November 2008 and was led by Edward P. Bass ‘67 and Frances Beinecke ‘71, ‘74 M.F.S., the co-chairs of the F&ES Leadership Council, the school’s advisory board. In coordination with the F&ES Development Office, Bass and Beinecke approached a cross section of constituents about contributing to the Speth Fund, including F&ES alumni, faculty and supporters, fellow Leadership Council members, Yale College graduates and Speth’s friends and former classmates. Bass made a surprise announcement about the campaign to Speth and a live audience during a Leadership Council speaker’s event on Friday, May 8.

According to Bass, he became involved with the Speth Fund fundraising campaign because of his deep respect for what Speth had achieved on behalf of F&ES.

“Under Gus’ leadership, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has firmly established itself as the premier professional and academic institution of its kind in the world,” said Bass.

He also noted that Speth’s contributions will continue to reverberate throughout the F&ES community and beyond after he steps down as dean.

“Gus has done so much to raise public awareness about the enormous challenges and opportunities that we and future generations face as we work toward a more sustainable tomorrow,” said Bass. “He will continue to be a source of inspiration to many of us, and it goes without saying that we will miss him terribly.”

Speth says he and Cameron were very moved when they heard about the fundraising campaign on behalf of the Speth Fund.

“What an unexpected and tremendous honor,” commented Speth. “We are absolutely delighted by this extraordinary and thoughtful gesture.”

After he steps down as F&ES dean, Speth will join the faculty of Vermont Law School.

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