CORVALLIS, Ore. — The disbanding Santiam Fish and Game Association of Albany will live on through its creation of a new scholarship fund at Oregon State University. The nonprofit group recently gave $100,000 from the sale of its property at Clear Lake to assist students enrolled in OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Through the Santiam Fish and Game Association Endowed Scholarship, the organization will promote care of the natural world in perpetuity, said board chair Dale Wollam of Lebanon.
“A lot of older people have good memories about the association and want to see others benefit from what we’ve put so many years into,” he said. “We’ve had great joy in it.”
Established in 1929, the Santiam Fish and Game Association managed cabins and boats at Clear Lake on the Santiam Pass. Once numbering as many as 800 families from Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon, the group decided to disband last year amidst declining membership. They sold the resort to Linn County Parks and Recreation, and their charter directed that assets would fund scholarships at OSU.
Supporting young people who want to enter careers in fish and wildlife fields is a natural extension of the association’s history, Wollam said. The group promoted wise use of natural resources and encouraged community residents to get outside and enjoy the region’s wild places.
“Without good management, generations to come won’t be able to experience what we’ve had,” Wollam said.
Because the principal will never be spent, scholarships will be awarded on an ongoing basis. “People are welcome to add to the endowment, perhaps as a memorial to those who have been active in the association,” Wollam said.
Three scholarships will be awarded annually: to an upperclass undergraduate, a graduate student, and a student participating in a fisheries and wildlife public education internship. All recipients must have completed one year of the fisheries and wildlife major in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. First preference will be given to Linn or Benton county residents.
“We wanted to help students who are seriously committed to the fisheries and wildlife program,” said Tamara Hamilton of Albany, association board secretary. “Our hope is that the recipients will choose to go and be a part of the Linn County team and work within the community, educating future generations of people who come to the lake.”
The association board was greatly pleased that the county was able to buy the resort, Hamilton added. “They’ve already done things we could only dream about,” she said. “It’s in good hands.”
College leaders noted that scholarships are part of the reason OSU’s wildlife program has been ranked as number one in the nation. Its fisheries program is ranked second.
“These scholarships create an educational legacy in an area where the Santiam Fish and Game Association has already made a significant impact on conservation,” said Dan Edge, head of the OSU fisheries and wildlife department. “We are very grateful to the association for making this assistance available to our students.”
Oregon State University officially launched “The Campaign for OSU” on Oct. 26. Guided by OSU’s strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen Oregon, and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $386 million has been committed to date, including more than $60 million toward a $100 million goal for scholarship and fellowship support for students.