Scott family gift funds scholarships, student enrichment and experiential learning
CLEMSON – Mitchell (Micky) and Amy Scott know full well the vital role the forestry industry plays in South Carolina’s economic vitality and environmental health.
The Scotts, with Micky’s brothers Bill and Hank, are fourth-generation owners of wholesale lumber and pole manufacturer Collum’s Lumber Products in Allendale. Collum’s was founded in the 1930s and has grown into one of the most advanced sawmill and planer operations in the Southeast.
Now, Micky and Amy Scott have gifted more than $1 million to Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences to create three endowments that will support the recruitment and retention of CAFLS students; provide enrichment opportunities to students in the college’s forestry and environmental conservation department; and fund scholarships for students to participate in Forestry Summer Camp, a seven-week experiential learning curriculum designed to give students hands-on experience in skills essential to their professional success in the forestry industry.
President James P. Clements announced the gift during the annual College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) tailgate Saturday.
“We are so grateful to Micky and Amy for their generosity. These endowments are another example of the many ways they have shared their success with Clemson. This gift will help CAFLS provide its students with the opportunities they need to secure great careers in the forestry and natural resources sectors,” Clements said.
A 2016 economic analysis showed that natural resource-based sectors contribute $33.2 billion in annual economic impact to the state, with forestry alone contributing $21 billion and 84,000 jobs.
Keith Belli, dean of the college, said the Scotts’ gift will help it recruit and retain the best students and enhance the forestry curriculum with hands-on learning opportunities.
“CAFLS listens closely to the needs of the state’s forestry industry, and this generous gift by Micky and Amy will allow our college to continue producing students prepared to take on leadership roles in industries vital to South Carolina’s economic and natural resources health,” Belli said.
Billy Fox is one of those students. Fox, a veteran and junior forestry major from Wallkill, New York, participated in the Forestry Summer Camp and said the experience honed his skills and open his eyes to the array of careers in the forestry industry.
“I’m a hands-on learner and I need to experience things for myself to learn them best. I wouldn’t have been able to afford Forestry Summer Camp if it hadn’t been for scholarship money. That scholarship was one of the reasons I was able to stay in forestry,” Fox said.
Micky Scott graduated from Clemson in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in forest management. He serves as chair of Clemson’s Timberland Legacy Advisory Committee and is on the board of the Wood Utilization + Design Institute.
Collum’s Lumber Products is capable of producing up to 200 million board feet a year while also maintaining Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification for its dedication to ensuring that the timber it mills was harvested using practices that promote sustainable forest management.