GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences is honored to announce a new scholarship endowment, the Jon and Carol Gould Family Endowed Forestry Scholarship. This generous endowment will support rising junior or senior forestry students in the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences who are originally from Florida.
After the passing of her husband in 2019, Carol Gould set out to establish the fund to celebrate Jon’s life and continue the couple’s long-standing commitment to the next generation of foresters. Jon was a 1967 UF graduate and was always fond of his alma mater.
“We had always planned on starting up a scholarship fund,” Carol said. “We could have chosen other ways to give back, but we wanted to do it through the University of Florida because of Jon’s love for the university.”
The Goulds have deep roots in the Florida forestry community. When Jon was a young boy in the 1950s, he planted trees with his father on their Merritt Island property, which would become one of the Florida Forestry Association’s first certified Tree Farms. His family later moved to the Florida Panhandle, where Jon gratefully spent months tree farming as a way to process his experiences serving in Vietnam.
When Carol and Jon married, Carol initially knew little about land management, but her enthusiasm for forestry, wildlife and outreach were quick to blossom. “Forestry was Jon’s passion,” she said. “He loved it, and I loved him. And we learned together.”
Indeed, Jon and Carol were quite the team. On their hundreds of acres of land in the Panhandle, the Goulds have managed a range of activities, including reforestation, prescribed burning, invasive species control, mowing, fencing and construction. Their properties also host many educational events, such as Scout troop tours, where they have emphasized the integral role of the private landowner in forestry. These remarkable efforts led to recognitions like being named the Florida Tree Farmers of the Year in 2006 and Southeast Regional Tree Farmers of the Year in 2018.
The passing of her husband solidified Carol’s commitment to forestry education.
“Jon and I worked side-by-side, and when he passed, I really appreciated how he had made sure I had the necessary foundational knowledge to continue. I’d like to encourage all spouses to stay involved,” she said. “And we were so blessed to have received so much from fellow foresters, both private and organizations. Jon and I knew we had to contribute to forestry education.”
Contributions to the Jon and Carol Gould Family Endowed Forestry Scholarship will continue to be accepted at uff.ufl.edu/giving-opportunities/025093-jon-and-carol-gould-family-endowed-forestry-scholarship.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. The college has received more total (national and regional combined) USDA teaching awards than any other institution.
cals.ufl.edu | @UFCALS
This post was written by Kim Scotto-Kelley.