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Noted alumnus and conservationist endows deanship of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies


New Haven, Conn. — Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. ’51 has endowed the deanship of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (F&ES) in a gift that is both a vote of confidence in the school’s mission and a generous contribution to the Yale Tomorrow campaign.

“My wife Emily and I consider F&ES to be the number one school of its kind in the world,” said Knobloch, a Wyoming-based businessman and philanthropist, who founded and chairs the West Hill Foundation for Nature, a nonprofit corporation that supports environmental projects.

“The preservation of our natural ecosystems is critical to the continued economic strength of our country, as well as the health of all Americans,” said Knobloch. “There is an impending crisis in the degradation of the world’s environment, which we must prevent for the sake of our children and their children. F&ES is the finest training ground for those who will forge the way.”

James Gustave Speth, who has led F&ES for the past eight years, has been appointed as the inaugural Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean.

“I am deeply honored to be the first to hold the Knobloch Deanship,” said Speth. “Never has the need for enlightened stewardship of our natural resources been so urgent. At Yale, and in his efforts to save the land, Carl is providing outstanding leadership.”

During his tenure, Speth has played a key role in elevating national and international awareness of the world’s most pressing climate issues. He has been credited, as well, with shepherding F&ES in a process of major change and expansion.

“Gus is just as good as you can get as the head of this great school,” Knobloch said.

“The deanship will stand as a permanent tribute to Mr. Knobloch and his exceptional commitment both to F&ES and its mission of safeguarding the health, integrity, and beauty of the natural world,” said Yale President Richard C. Levin. “We are also thrilled to be able to honor Gus and his extraordinary vision, dedication, and accomplishments in this way.”

As a founder of both the Natural Resources Defense Council and of the World Resources Institute, Speth has held a number of influential posts, which include heading the United Nations Development Program and chairing President Carter’s Council on Environmental Quality. In addition to numerous articles, his latest book, Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, has been widely recognized.

In addition to endowing the new deanship, Knobloch contributed funding to F&ES in 2005 to create the Emily and Carl Knobloch Environment Center. The center will be the premier gathering place for environmental activities at the University and will be located in Kroon Hall, the new sustainable building that will house the school as it continues to expand in size and function.


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