New Fellowship Provides More Opportunities for Graduate Students

November 5th, 2007 by Adam

A Brentwood, N.H. couple who met in 1964 at Plymouth State College is providing an environmental education fellowship at PSU’s Center for the Environment.

Joe (’68) and Gail White (’66) were both teachers who eventually started a successful organic farm. Both care deeply about protecting New Hampshire’s natural resources and Plymouth State’s ongoing efforts in educating the public about this goal.

“We loved the Plymouth experience and we wanted to establish the fellowship where it would do the most good,” said Gail White, who, along with her husband, has been generously supporting the Center for the Environment since 2005.

The Joe and Gail White Graduate Fellowship will pay a graduate student’s tuition, a stipend, or research expenses. The successful applicant must show how their work will address environmental issues of concern in N.H. and have an applied or policy-relevant basis to advance protection, stewardship, or management of the environment. According to Steve Kahl, director of the Center for the Environment, “This fellowship is the first of several that the Center envisions to help us serve the PSU regional mission, which is engaging partners in NH to improve knowledge of the environment, and policies to protect the environment”.

“Joe and I have so many broad interests, like education and the environment, and that’s exactly what the Center for the Environment is doing, so this supports everything we cherish,” said Gail.

Each fall, the Center will advertise the availability of the White Fellowship for graduate students. Working with their faculty advisors, PSU graduate students will apply in mid-fall semester, with a decision on the award announced in November each year. The Fellowship will be funded to a graduate each spring semester, with preference given to a New Hampshire resident.

Both Joe and Gail White, who met backstage at a Panther Players Twelfth Night rehearsal, believe the institution has a rich legacy of producing well-rounded, enthusiastic students well prepared to lead productive lives.

“Plymouth has enveloped our whole life. We realize we got so much from everyone there; it was our ‘Plymouth Experience.’ It stayed with us. If we hadn’t gone to Plymouth we wouldn’t be where we are now,” noted Gail, who helped Joe develop a successful organic farm in Brentwood that crystallized their commitment to environmental sustainability and protection.

“We began the farm in the 70s, while teaching,” said Gail. “We were one of the first certified organic farms in New Hampshire. Joe was one of many that helped to develop the certified organic standards for the state of New Hampshire and the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

“Agriculture is the preservation of the healthy lifestyle for New Hampshire,” said Joe. “We hope the Center for the Environment can develop the human and economic resources to carry on our work and interests, toward this goal.”

The Whites are especially fond of the Plymouth community, where the rural landscape helped shape their life goals.

“Langdon Park, the Pemigewasset River, the topography and natural beauty of Plymouth and the college community had much influence on our lives,” said Joe. “When an area changes, it changes the spirit of the people. We know the Center for the Environment can keep New Hampshire a great place to live and work.”

The Whites have also been active in the Plymouth State Alumni Board and Alumni Association, Joe previously served on the Alumni Board and received the Alumni Service Award.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu