Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources will host an open house to showcase its programs and projects on Tuesday, April 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Latham Ballroom in the Inn at Virginia Tech on the Blacksburg campus.

The event, open to the university community, community colleges, area high schools, and the public, will recognize current students’ achievements and present exhibits to inform potential students about the college’s areas of study. Chuck Leavell, a forester and conservationist friend of the college who is also the keyboardist for The Rolling Stones, will be on hand to sign his book from 1 to 3 p.m.

The showcase will feature department displays, academic programs and majors, research posters, and student clubs, with faculty and students in attendance to talk personally about what the college offers.

Paul Winistorfer, dean of the College of Natural Resources, said, “The purpose of this new event is to let area high school and community college students, as well as those with undeclared majors or not yet affiliated with another college at Virginia Tech, learn about the college and the many careers they can have in sustaining natural resources, the environment, and the planet for our future. We cross many boundaries, with business, computer and technology, education, engineering, international development, the hard sciences, and preparation for professional schools such as law and medicine all intertwined with our programs.”

Leavell will spend the day at the showcase and be available to sign his book, Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest. Not only has the famous musician played keyboard for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery Gentry, Lee Ann Womack, and many others, but he is also a long-time tree farmer and co-founder of The Mother Nature Network, the number one most visited independent environmental website in the world. The environmental advocate is a respected authority on forestry and conservation. His book is in its second printing in the United States and has been translated and released in Germany and Austria.

Leavell and his wife were given the ultimate honor for their outstanding management of their pine forest, Charlane Plantation, in Macon, Ga., by being named National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 1999. He is also the author of the rave-reviewed Between Rock and a Home Place, which discusses his passion for forestry and the environment, and a children’s book, The Tree Farmer, which is beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Bleau and has won has won several top awards, including the Growing Good Kids Award, the Media Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, and a special Book of the Year Award from the American Farm Bureau. “My family, trees, and music are my passions,” he explained.

Winistorfer noted, “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our campus to host Chuck Leavell, one that students will not want to miss because he is one of the world’s foremost environmentalists.”

The College of Natural Resources will make a limited number of copies of Leavell’s book, Forever Green, available free of charge at the book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information about the day’s schedule, contact Winistorfer’s office at (540) 231-5481. At an invitation-only event later in the evening, Leavell will combine a music performance with an informal talk on stewardship and partnership as related to forestry, conservation, and sustaining the planet. He will be available to the media from 11 a.m. to noon at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

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