I recently received an interesting letter from Herman Gabriel, a 1956 alumnus whose license plate in Montana reads “VPI 56.” Herman enjoyed a successful career in forestry working for several agencies and in a number of enviable locations — Alaska and Ecuador among them. Herman now serves as editor for the national Museum of Forest Service History (nmfs-history.net). It is great fun for us to hear of your careers. Take a minute today to let us know what you’ve been up to since you left campus. In this issue you will read about a group of college alumni — Don Bright, Vance Wright, and Gary Robertson — who have recently purchased a hardwood sawmill in Virginia. Best wishes to them in their new endeavor!

The college participated in the first Virginia Forestry Summit last spring. Bringing organizations and agencies together once a year to meet under the forestry umbrella is good for the forestry community in Virginia. I had the pleasure of providing the keynote address and was pleased to have the college participate in the summit.

Forests and forestry are strategic tools for a growing world population that needs fresh water, clean air, biodiversity, and renewable materials.

Our fall enrollment is at a decade high, and all majors across the college are showing growth. We have outstanding students in the college if you are in need of good employees.

We enjoyed an early college homecoming date this fall with about 100 alumni and friends joining us on a cool September day. Thanks to those who participated with us. If you’ve not been on campus for a while, come join us next year for this annual fall gathering.

Our cover feature this issue tells the story of our rewarding college relationship with Primland. Forging a partnership with an organization that is managing 12,000 acres for multiple use and sustainability is rewarding for us, and we value the stewardship that Primland is providing to this property in Patrick County.

Finally, we are continuing our work to shape the future of our academic curricula in the college. We are moving forward in areas that encompass biomaterials and bio-energy, packaging systems and design, and craftsmanship and innovation, and are making plans for a future program in coastal ecology. We are working with partner colleges on campus to plan for an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in water focusing on science, policy, and management.

Thank you for your support of the college this past year. I leave the office each and every day knowing that what we do is of critical importance to people and to the resources we manage and use.

Best wishes to you and your families for the holiday season.






Paul M. Winistorfer