We lost a driving force in North American wood science with the passing of Professor Emeritus Geza Ifju in May. Geza, the founding department head of wood science and forest products, made a significant impact on the profession and on many individuals throughout his career. The department remains strong today due to the foundation laid over the many years of Geza’s career. We will miss him, but the legacy of his efforts will be carried forward through the good work of our Department of Sustainable Biomaterials and our faculty and staff.

Our cover story reflects the very positive momentum of our packaging program. Packaging materials touch every individual on the planet, and the bulk of these materials come from wood fiber. Our new packaging systems and design degree program offers students a career-ready path forward, with strong starting salaries and advancement opportunities. We appreciate your help in promoting this program to those you interact with.

Our enrollment continues to grow across all degree programs in the college. Our meteorology degree has quickly exceeded projections, with nearly 120 students enrolled. We anticipate the hiring of another meteorology faculty member in the coming year. We expect to enroll more than 800 undergraduate students midway through the fall semester on our way to a goal of 1,000. We have some absolutely outstanding students in our college and welcome your support with summer jobs, internships, and full-time employment. We are the pipeline to the future success of your organization! Mark your calendar for our college career fair to be held on Nov. 5 and watch our website for details.

Spring commencement in the new Moss Arts Center was a real treat this year. We planted a chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) to commemorate the nearly 165 students of the class of 2014, in the 22nd year of the college. Our annual tree planting is a great tradition.

I mentioned in the last issue our pressing problems with space — both quantity and quality. I misstated our presence in 10 different buildings on campus — we are actually in 15 different buildings, and some of our space is much worse than I realized. Our Center Woods Complex, used by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, is in need of immediate attention and long-range strategic planning. And we’ve learned that our Department of Geography will be relocated from Major Williams Hall, where it has been housed for 26 years, to Wallace Hall, just across the street from Cheatham Hall. We are excited about bringing geography in closer proximity to the majority of our college faculty and look forward to the synergism and collaboration, as well as space utilization, that will surely follow. The move is planned for 2017, with ample time to plan.

I had a surprise visit from Herman (Bill) Gabriel (’56 B.S. forestry) in June. Bill and his brother were on a multi-week trek across the country. It is always fun and rewarding to visit with our alums and learn of their life’s journeys. We are thankful for Bill’s generous annual scholarship support for our forestry students.

We will be starting the fall semester just as you receive this issue of CNRE News. Wish us well as we continue to shape the next generation of natural resources professionals. We are excited and thankful for the opportunity!

Warm regards from the faculty, staff, and students,


Paul M. Winistorfer