Wayne Smith and Mitzi Austin provided one of the first donations in support of the new Learning Center by naming the exterior deck. Wayne served IFAS for 39 years, first as a faculty member and then Assistant Director of the School, helping to establish and manage the CRIFF and IMPAC programs. He then served 18 years as Director of three interdisciplinary IFAS Centers including the Center for Biomass Energy Systems. In 1995, he returned to the School as its Director for eight years. Mitzi had a distinguished career of 33 years as a partner in Gainesville’s Scruggs and Carmichael law firm, but always took the time to help host faculty, staff, and student gatherings. Wayne and Mitzi have been long-term supporters of the SFRC, and our sincerest thanks go to them for their continuing involvement in the planning and fundraising for the Learning Center, as well as in SFRC programs in general.
In their own words:
As faculty and Director of SFRC, I marveled at the beauty of the forest and Lake Mize as background of the building that was destroyed. Mitzi and I want future students and faculty to have the same experiences. An enhanced Learning Center will make that possible and reach greater numbers of the public to help them understand the significant roles of forests in their lives.