STEVENS POINT — University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will establish an endowed graduate assistantship in waterfowl research with gifts totaling more than $1 million to the UWSP Foundation.
The Douglas and Carol Federighi Waterfowl Graduate Assistantship in the College of Natural Resources will represent the first fully endowed graduate assistantship in the university’s history. Earnings from the endowment will support tuition and student stipends.
The new endowment will support and enhance the work of the Kennedy-Grohne Chair in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation, established in 2015 at UW-Stevens Point. The aim is to attract top students and nurture their development as emerging leaders in the field of waterfowl and wetlands conservation, said Christine Thomas, College of Natural Resources dean, in a UWSP news release.
The assistantship honors the memory of Douglas Federighi of Lafayette, California, an avid outdoorsman, duck hunter and advocate for wetlands preservation and restoration, who died in April 2018. Federighi was a life member of the California Waterfowl Association and an active member and supporter of Ducks Unlimited. He was a board member for Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (U.S.), and chaired the group’s Conservation Programs Committee. He also served on the boards of Ducks Unlimited Canada and Ducks Unlimited de Mexico.
Donors from eight states across the country are supporting the endowment, most of whom have strong ties to Memphis-based Ducks Unlimited. They include the following from California: Paul and Sandi Bonderson, Brent Federighi, Al and Gail Montna Family, Tashia and John Morgridge, Pepper Snyder and David and Kathleen Grieve; plus Bill and Sarah D’Alonzo, Florida; Livia and George Dunklin, Arkansas; Jim Kennedy, Georgia; Sue and Jim Konkel, Maine; Mike and Gigi McShane, South Carolina; Bob and Kim Spoerl, Wisconsin; John and Judy Tomke, Indiana; and the Jack and Marion Wilson Fund at UW-Stevens Point.
“For almost 82 years, Ducks Unlimited has insisted that waterfowl and wetland science drive its conservation programs,” said John Tomke, past president of DU and current board chairman of Ducks Unlimited de Mexico, who orchestrated support for the endowment, in the release. “As chair of the DU Conservation Programs Committee, Doug diligently sought to increase the body of science related to waterfowl and their habitats. His friends and all who knew him felt it was fitting that this UWSP endowment be named in Doug’s and Carol’s honor.”
The Federighi Assistantship is the second major commitment to UW-Stevens Point’s waterfowl program, exceeding $3 million in three years, according to UWSP. The gifts are part of the Then, Now & Forever – We Are Point capital campaign.
Photo courtesy UWSP. UW-Stevens Point students release ducks while participating in a spring 2018 wildlife class trip to Forbes Biological Station, Illinois.