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Conservation Group Donates Funds For SHSU Scholarships

July 19, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Tu-Mile Chapter chairman Andy Brauninger, left, and banquet chairman Ken Tarpey, right, present SHSU Agricultural and Industrial Sciences chair Stanley Kelley with a replica check representing funding for five scholarships at the university.

For the second consecutive year, the Tu-Mile Chapter of Quail Coalition has donated $5,000 to Sam Houston State University for scholarships in the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences.

The scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to five outstanding students pursuing degrees in animal science with emphasis in wildlife ecology.

Josh Shafer, an agriculture graduate student from Mont Belvieu, was one of last year’s scholarship recipients.

“This scholarship provided me with the financial assistance needed to better allocate my time as a graduate student,” he said. “I was able to take part in valuable activities outside of the classroom that gave me the chance to learn through hands-on experience and expand my networking opportunities.

“Scholarship donors such as the Tu-Mile Chapter of the Quail Coalition have really made a notable difference in my career as a graduate student. I hope that one day I can become a contributor as well and provide rewards and assistance to deserving students so that their college career can be as positive as mine has been,” he said.

Stanley Kelley, chair of the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences, said that students in the agriculture program share many values with the conservation group.

“Our agriculture students have an inherent appreciation for natural resources and their preservation, therefore it is very appropriate to honor five of our top students who not only excel academically but also share a common goal with the Tu-Mile Chapter,” he said.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the chapter and its board members for their contribution to habitat preservation and assisting students with their education through these scholarships,” he said.

The Tu-Mile Chapter is the oldest quail conservation group in Texas. It was originally associated with the national Quail Unlimited organization until 2009 when the chapter joined other Texas chapters in forming Quail Coalition. The local chapter covers Walker and the surrounding counties.

“Quail Coalition is led by volunteers, so there are no overhead or administrative costs,” said Andy Brauninger, chairman of the Tu-Mile Chapter. “All money raised through each chapter’s fundraising event—their annual banquets—stays in Texas.

“It enables us to provide shooting schools, do habitat projects and quail restoration work, and donate money for scholarships, like the donations we make to Sam Houston State University,” he said.

This year’s banquet will take place Friday, Aug. 19, at the Walker County Fairgrounds. The banquet is open to the public. Tickets are $60 for adults and $25 for youth 16-years-old and under and can be purchased at the door.

In addition to a steak and quail dinner, those purchasing tickets will be entitled to immediate membership in the Quail Coalition.

For more information about the banquet or the Quail Coalition, contact Andy Brauninger at 713.305.7377.

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