A fundraising campaign for the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has raised more than $30 million to date, Yale President Richard Levin announced Thursday.
The money constitutes approximately half of the campaign’s $60 million goal. The funds will support faculty endowment, student scholarships and a new environmentally friendly facility for the school.
“This is an ambitious plan for the University,” Levin said. “Yale has the opportunity to make a mark that is enduring and permanent.”
Speaking before the members of the school’s Leadership Council at a reception in the Yale Art Gallery, Levin said that $32.2 million has been raised so far, including more than $25 million for core endowment and facilities needs.
The new building will bring the entire F&ES program, now scattered among six locations, into a single interconnected complex.
“We intend for it to be a model for sustainable environmental design and resource efficiency for our area, the nation, and the world,” Gus Speth, dean of the forestry school, said. “It will be Yale’s first green building.”
The donations for the initiative came from a variety of sources reflecting private alumni contributions, corporate sponsorship and foundation donations.
Gilman Ordway ’47 made a substantial lead gift in support of the design and construction of the planned new facility, which brought the school approximately half-way to the anticipated $25 million cost of the building.
Leadership Council member Jim Clark ’58 provided a major life income gift to help build a strong foundation of long-term support for the school. Former Yale Corporation member Frances Beinecke ’71 FOR ’74 said she also found compelling reasons to support the school.
“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,” Beinecke said.
Her gift help to establish two endowments at the school — one for domestic students and the other for international students
Speth offered special thanks to Yale alumnus Edward Bass ’68, co-chair of the Leadership Council and fellow of the Yale Corporation, for his “extraordinary lead gift.”
“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.”
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.
“India and China are huge countries with very large economies,” Speth said. “What happens there is going to effect the whole planet.”
The school aims to build program strength in such areas as climate change, conservation and biodiversity, tropical forestry, environmental management, law and policy.
“You have to remember that we are a blue university but we have to move to the green end of the spectrum,” Levin said. “We’ll be turquoise before you know it.”