Dave Samuel, professor emeritus of wildlife and fisheries resources, and his wife, Cathy, are no strangers to creating opportunities for students at West Virginia University.

A faculty excellence award bears Samuel’s name, recognizing outstanding educators in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. The couple has donated an extensive wildlife collection to the college’s School of Natural Resources. Dave’s mother, Mary Grace, established the Mary Grace Samuel Endowment Fund for the Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society at WVU.

Now, the Samuels have turned their attention to graduate student education, creating the David and Catherine Samuel Wildlife Graduate Fund. The $25,000 endowment will support graduate student travel to conferences to present papers or serve as seed money for research projects. First preference will go to students pursuing a graduate degree in wildlife and fisheries resources.

“During my tenure at WVU, I advised many graduate students, and I know how important travel to conferences is to student development,” Dave Samuel said. “Presenting papers at conferences is a critical part of a graduate student’s education. The preparation for these presentations is important, and the exposure they get, not only for themselves, but for our wildlife and fisheries resources program, is extremely beneficial and rewarding.”

He also noted that wildlife and fisheries, as a discipline, “changes daily.” Engagement in professional organizations helps scholars keep up with the changes and helps “students become leaders. If our support can help create leaders, then we feel rewarded for being loyal to WVU.”

Most importantly, decades of service to the program have given it a special place in the Samuels’ hearts. “I put a lot of energy into that program,” Dave Samuel said. “It’s one of the top programs in its field in the country, and I couldn’t have done that without Cathy’s support. We believe that it’s important to keep wildlife and fisheries at WVU strong.”

The Samuels’ gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
304.293.2394, David.Welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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