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Campaign for Colorado State

Warner College of Natural Resources receives $300,000 gift from alumna

February 24, 2010

Colorado State University's Warner College of Natural Resources received a $300,000 gift from an alumna of the college that will help support the new Conservation Leadership Through Learning initiative.

Dramatically enhance student education

“We are grateful to Ying Lee and her family for this gracious gift and their long history of giving at CSU. Conservation Leadership Through Learning in the Warner College of Natural Resources will dramatically change the way in which we educate students through problem-based learning both in the classroom and in the field,” said Joyce Berry, dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources.

“Much of the work will be done with our international partners and we are hopeful that this model will provide opportunities for students throughout the world in years to come.”

New concept

The Conservation Leadership Through Learning initiative, led by the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, is motivated by a new concept in conservation education that blends disciplines, cultures, and learning methods. It will build upon a tradition of success to create a new generation of leaders who will guide the way to a sustainable future.

"Through a visionary gift by an alumna, we have been empowered to stay on the leading edge of conservation education,” said Mike Manfredo, head of the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources.

Vision for student opportunities brought to fruition

“To stay relevant in today's increasingly complex world, we need to create new opportunities for students to ensure they are best positioned to be agents of change upon graduation. Despite difficult budgetary times, Ying’s gift has enabled us to bring our vision to fruition.”

The Conservation Leadership Through Learning initiative will employ integrated coursework that draws from three core areas:

  • natural and physical sciences
  • social sciences
  • management and leadership

Students will participate in coursework and field work in Colorado and Mexico.

Practitioners both domestically and abroad

Lee’s investment will allow for the launch of the first cohort of students for this innovative program scheduled to graduate in spring 2012. Students will go to work immediately as practitioners in varying capacities to solve real issues related to sustainability, land degradation, watershed management, and more both domestically and abroad.

“To be able to study in a heavenly place like Colorado, and taught by qualified and committed people in such a vibrant community like Fort Collins; if you do not have the best foundation to pursue your dreams, you only have yourself to blame,” said Lee, class of 1973.

Recently, Conservation Leadership Through Learning received high-level recognition from the Mexican government and will be listed as a joint degree program with Mexico’s El Colegio de la Frontera Sur University and is considered to be an International Professional Science Masters of Excellence.

About the Campaign for Colorado State University

In August 2009, Colorado State University launched the public phase of the first comprehensive campaign in the university’s 140-year history.

The goal of the Campaign for Colorado State University is to raise $500 million in private support from July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2012. To date, the university has surpassed the $319 million mark. Lee’s gift contributes to the campaign.

The campaign focuses on ensuring student access to a world-class education through scholarships and fellowships; provides funds for research, outreach, economic development, technology advancements, and learning outside the classroom; and supports new and renovated facilities – from labs to classrooms to athletic facilities.

Contact: Kimberly Sorensen
Phone: (970) 491-0757