It is hard to believe that another year has gone by and I am here wondering again what to share with you about the Center. Three months ago, we graduated 40 students from our program and some of them are now working in your companies. Our department’s undergraduate program has grown to nearly 200 students, and it is probably the largest in the country. We believe the changes we have made in recent years regarding our undergraduate degrees and our name change are starting to attract a broader range of students to our profession. I have often told students that our program is the applied field of business, engineering, physics, or chemistry to our natural resources and wood. Whether it is the student who has a business interest and wants to go into international marketing or the student who has an engineering interest and wants to lean up your mill, our undergraduate program allows students to apply these disciplines to wood products. We remain committed to providing the best marketing, manufacturing, and business education in forest products in North America. Our goal remains to attract and train good students who can help your companies compete in this changing world marketplace.
I have now completed six years as the department head. It is nice being back in the department with my colleagues and directing such a successful endeavor. We are fortunate to have some of the leading scientists in our field working in the department. I want to thank those of you who took time to visit us this past year and spend time with our students. Your interest and experience help us demonstrate the great opportunities that exist for careers in wood products. Students always comment on how they love to hear from our industry partners. Your internships, scholarships and job opportunities demonstrate the partnership that is needed to help us attract and train your future employees. If you would like to visit the department and speak with our students, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Your center has had a good year. Our faculty accomplishments are listed later in this report. We awarded over $25,000 of scholarships in 2017 and will award nearly that amount again in 2018. Your donations make this possible and allow us to better train our students for this changing wood products industry. We have updated our website to provide more information, so please visit us at http://www.cfpb.vt.edu I thank you for your continued support of our center. If there is anything I can do, please feel free to contact me at 540-231-7679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.