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Margaret Stewart
Margaret Stewart

Margaret Stewart Endows Scholarship

by Michael Messitt

In 1956, North Carolina native Margaret “Meg” Stewart joined the University’s biology faculty after receiving her Ph.D. at Cornell. Her distinguished teaching and research career at the University reflects a focus on natural history and field biology. Prior to her retirement in 1997, she championed the launch of the Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy Program. As professor emeritus, she has remained involved with the program’s development. In December 2003, Stewart made a gift to endow the program through the establishment of the Margaret M. Stewart Graduate Scholarship in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy.

Stewart emphasized that the program’s unique, interdisciplinary structure stems from “the link between the study of the environment and the diversity of life with planning and public policy solutions that preserve our diverse species and natural habitats.” The program accepted its first student in 1998; 18 students have earned degrees to date.

She cites the support of many within the University, including George Robinson, Gary Kleppel, Jeryl Mumpower, George Richardson, and Thomas Birkland, who were instrumental in designing and implementing the program.

“Professor Stewart worked tirelessly to create a unique program that combines science and policy and produces professionals who can function in the complex and multi-dimensional environments of modern conservation and natural resources management. Meg’s gift to the biodiversity program ensures her legacy, through the good works of the students it will support for years to come,” said Kleppel, program director.

Albert Millis, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, also expressed his gratitude for the gift. “This extraordinary gift is just another example of Meg’s generosity in supporting our programs and students in field biology and biodiversity. She continues to take an active interest in the program that she initiated and for that we are grateful,” he added.