J. Ken Morgan, Jr. is a longtime benefactor of the college, forest advocate, and businessman who understands the importance of investing in both technology and people. As the president of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation (VFEF), he leads an organization whose primary goal is to support educational programs that speak to the benefits of forests and forest products and to the perpetuation of our forest heritage through conservation.

One of the programs receiving VFEF support is the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and the partnership between CNRE and VFEF is long-standing and far-reaching. “We provide assistance and opportunities for many students, who in turn provide leadership progressing both forestry and the forest products industry,” Morgan said. “I view this relationship as a winning combination!”

College of Natural Resources and Environment: What is the mission of the VFEF?

Ken Morgan: The mission of the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation is to financially support statewide youth education promoting sustainable forests for the environmental, social, and economic benefit of all Virginians.

CNRE: How does the organization help students?

Morgan: The VFEF supports students and student learning in the College of Natural Resources and Environment by providing scholarships within the Departments of Sustainable Biomaterials and Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, in addition to financially supporting 4-H camps and providing CNRE students the opportunity to further their educational experience through leadership positions as counselors in these camps.

CNRE: Why do you feel honored to lead this organization?

Morgan: I am proud to serve as president of the VFEF because our focus is youth education. Can there be a more important emphasis for adults to devote time and attention to? I know the future of our world lies within our youth. There is not a more prudent investment than having a positive impact on these young and their energetic minds. It is our mission to be diligent with educating these young people in delineating the many great benefits to mankind of our wonderful, renewable resource...TREES!

CNRE: In addition to your work with VFEF, what else are you passionate about or enjoy spending time doing?

Morgan: I am certainly grateful to have made a profession out of what has brought so much enjoyment and fulfillment. This sentiment applies twofold: working with a renewable resource and with the great people who I have made friends with along the way. I have also been honored with a wonderful family. Auto racing and boats fill the adrenaline and therapeutic chapters for me. Life is good!