A member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and the Phi Beta Kappa society, Earle Bates is a former corporate and securities lawyer from Washington, D.C. who has recently retired and moved to Kendall in Lexington. He has pledged $130,000 over a five year period, $26,000 a year, to the Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program at Washington and Lee University. Bates has also made the Environmental Studies Program the beneficiary of his retirement program upon his death. "I've always been interested in protecting the environment," said Bates. "In its embryonic stage, the Environmental Studies Program needed additional funds. It seemed like a good fit. I know it's not a black and white issue, but I do think that the preservation of natural resources for future generations is an important legacy to leave to our descendants," he added.
Steve Sloan was a member, and president of the Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity during his time at W&L as well as the co-captain of the baseball team. Mr. Sloan spends 90% of his time on conservation efforts, and runs a family real estate business, Stephen Sloan Realty Corp. Sloan is the author of Ocean Bankruptcy (2003) and Fly Fishing is Spoken Here (2001). He is the founder of the "Fishin' Zone" Radio Program that is broadcast in 1,000 cities over 200 stations. He is the chairman of the Fisheries Defense Fund, Inc. and several other conservation organizations. Mr. Sloan has generously donated a painting "White Shark and Sea Lion" by Richard Ellis (1975) to the Environmental Studies Program and continues to be a benefactor and support of the program.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded Washington and Lee a four-year, $600,000 grant to expand and enhance place-based learning in the Environmental Studies program. The grant will enable W&L to create a specialization in the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, the nation’s largest estuary and the largest Atlantic watershed, where critically important ecological services are being eroded by pollution, over-fishing and other impacts of development.
The Associated Colleges of the South Environmental Initiative (ACSEI) annually funds two to five student environmental interns as well as a faculty member to supervise these students who are charged with initiating environmental projects and activities on their campuses. In the 2002-2003 school year, Washington and Lee University has four environmental interns. ACS also provides grants to individuals and organizations on campus. This year Washington and Lee University has received close to $5,000 in grants for various environmental projects.
The Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation awarded the Environmental Studies Program a $200,000 grant which allowed the program allowed the Environmental Studies Program to intensify its activities in many directions, including curricular development, co-curricular activities, and campus sustainability. With this grant students and faculty developed a significant number of activities that contribute to the understanding and practice of environmental citizenship at the local, regional, national and global level.
The Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) from US Department of Education awarded Washington and Lee a significant grant to fund the US-Brazilian Consortium, which includes Washington and Lee University, Fairfield University in the US, and the Universidade do Amazonas and the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense in Brazil. The project is entitled the Environment, Economic Development and Quality of Life Nexus, and provides $208,000 for student exchange, the development of a common, North-South curriculum in environmental studies, the development of internet-based teaching resources and faculty interaction.
English Professor Jim Warren received a research grant from the Huntington Library in San Marino, California for one month during the summer of 2002. Dr. Warren conducted his research on American nature writers John Muir, John Burroughs, and Mary Austin, the culmination of which will eventually become the book, John Burroughs And The Place Of Nature.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (sub-contracted through University of Tennessee during 2000-2001) awarded Environmental Studies Program director, James Kahn a $23,000 for his project “Integrated Environmental Decision-Making.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) awarded Washington and Lee biology professors, Dr. Maryanne Simurda and Dr. John Knox a grant for $10,000 to study the genetic and taxonomic relationships of the federally protected rare plant, Helenium virginicum from 2000 to 2002. The results of this study have been used to extend federal protection through the Endangered Species Act to a disjunct population of Helenium found in Missouri. All other populations of the rare plant exist in two counties of Virginia.
The Virginia Endowment for the Humanities (VEH) awarded former Washington and Lee politics professor Ken Ruscio a grant for $5,035 in 2000-2001 for his project “Growth and Conservation: Lessons from the Humanities.”