The Campaign for the University at Albany
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
“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,
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.