The Texas A&M Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters had the pleasure of welcoming Mrs. Joann Meyer-Cox, President of the Society of American Foresters and Class of ’76, back to campus this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Mrs. Cox was one of the first of two women to ever graduate from the forestry program at Texas A&M. Her visit came about as a bit of a random chance when she met two of the forestry club members at the Society of American Foresters National Convention in October of this past year. Mrs. Cox jokingly stated regarding her fortuitous run-in with Dan Gaskins who attended the conference from A&M, “I saw the cowboy hat and knew he had to be from Texas”. In her conversation with Dan, she learned of the forestry departments’ continued existence and decided she needed to make a trip back to College Station.

 On Tuesday, April 16, the club hosted a dinner in her honor, to welcome her back to Aggieland. It was a wonderful time of reconnecting with Mrs. Cox and establishing new bonds with current and future forestry students. One of the special moments of the evening was the attendance of Dr. Bob Baker and his wife. Dr. Baker was one of Mrs. Cox’s professors while she was getting her undergraduate degree. He presented her with one of the last in-print copies of “Sawdust Empire”, a history of the lumber mills and timber industry in Texas history. Dr. David Baltensperger, interim department head for Ecosystem Science and Management, also presented Mrs. Cox with a gift for her attendance and contributions to the forestry club. On Wednesday, April 17, Mrs. Cox attended forestry classes in the morning where she observed Dr. Jianbang Gan’s forestry class and shared some insight and answered questions with his students. She ended her trip with a tour of the new Memorial Student Center and lunch at the University Club Tower with students and faculty from Ecosystem Science and Management.

It was an honor to have Mrs. Joann Cox on campus and welcome her back to Texas A&M University. We were privileged with her presence this past week and look forward to her continued interest in the forestry department.

Greg Nagel ‘13
President Society of American Foresters – Texas A&M Chapter