Impact of Giving

A family affair: empowering future foresters

Author: Development and Donor Relations

Posted on Dec 11, 2023

Category: Creating Opportunities for Students , Donor Stories

Every member of the Erdle family has experienced the benefits of a UNB education, and each of them wished to extend those opportunities to students in years to come.

Thom (BScF’79, PhD’90), Marianne (BScF’83, BEd’94), Alanna (MScFE’13) and Heidi (MF’13, MBA’18) Erdle, each of whom earned degrees in forestry, have come together to fund the Erdle Family Prize in Forest Management. Valued at $4,000, the prize is awarded annually to a Bachelor of Science in Forestry student who demonstrates special interest, proficiency and promise in the field of forest management.

“Heidi and I are pleased to help other students relieve some of the financial burden of university as we were helped during our degrees,” said Alanna Erdle. “It is our hope that the recipients of this scholarship are inspired by, and motivated to build upon, the significant forest management advances made by past UNB forestry grads.”

Along with being a double alumnus, Thom Erdle was a member of the faculty of forestry and environmental management for more than 20 years, serving as program director for the bachelor of science in forestry degree program and as assistant dean. He has received UNB’s preeminent teaching award, the Dr. Allan P. Stuart Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, and is widely regarded as an architect of modern forest management. In 2021, he was inducted into the New Brunswick Forestry Hall of Fame.

“I really think that forest management, especially in this country and this province, is highly important,” said Thom. “The fate of the forest, largely affected by quality of our management, is going to be very influential over how we as a society fare and how the environment fares now and in the future. It’s essential that we have knowledgeable, skilled, competent people engaged in forest management.”

In the words of the family, “we established this award to give back to UNB in appreciation for what it has done for us. Our UNB educations have enabled each of us to lead productive and fulfilling professional lives. We hope this award motivates soon-to-be professional foresters, so they too can pursue productive and fulfilling careers.”

Learn how to make a gift to UNB.

Read the 2022-23 Donor Impact Report now.