The desire to give back to his beloved alma mater runs deep with Blair Moody, ’75. Along with his wife, Carol, the retired forester with long-lasting ties to NAU’s School of Forestry established the Blair and Carol Moody Endowed Scholarship to support and inspire current and future generations of forestry students.
The scholarship is a testament to the couple’s active efforts to foster the continued legacy of excellent foresters who graduate from the School of Forestry.
Blair Moody always understood the life-altering impact higher education can have on one’s life. As a young man, he took his father’s advice to study computer science, but later realized he needed to follow his own path to be successful. An impromptu trip to the Sequoia National Park cemented the California native’s enthusiasm for the outdoors. “I want to be in the woods,” were the words he uttered as he decided to pursue an education in forestry. Moody chose NAU because he wanted to venture outside of the comfort of his home state, and Flagstaff seemed like it was close enough, yet a new and exciting place to be. After graduating from NAU with a bachelor’s degree in forestry, Moody would go on to have successful forestry careers with Southwest Forest Industries in Flagstaff and federal land management agencies in Southern Oregon.
Both Blair and Carol, understand the past and present struggles of young students trying to juggle multiple responsibilities while attending college. “As young people, education wasn’t something we took for granted,” Blair said. “I had to pay for my own education and work various odd jobs to make ends meet. With rising tuition and limited state resources we can only imagine how hard it can be for current students.”
The couple is now determined to empower students who make the effort to pursue higher education despite any roadblocks they may face. “When you meet the students and learn about their goals and aspirations, it touches you and you want to help,” Blair said.
As the past president of the Northern Arizona University School of Forestry Alumni Association and past chair of the school’s Advisory Council, Moody’s generosity remains focused on his efforts to propel students toward success, but the scholarship is a cumulative effort to give back to the school that gave him the opportunity for the best career he could have envisioned for himself.
“We are so grateful for Blair and Carol’s continued support of the School of Forestry and its students,” said Jason Wilder, vice president for research, former College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences dean. “This scholarship will give the recipients time to focus on their studies and time to explore their interests in becoming future foresters, with the gift of less financial worry.”
Carol and Blair are hopeful their gift will impact NAU forestry students from all walks of life and reward their effort to manage forests for future generations. Blair recalled learning about a Native American student who commuted an hour and a half each way from the reservation to NAU because she couldn’t afford to live on campus.
“To hear that young people are willing to spend three hours a day on the road just to get to class compels me to help them,” he said. “There must be an active effort to help underrepresented and underserved students continue their education and show them the support they need.”
Carol and Blair look forward to meeting their scholarship recipient, who will be selected later this spring.
You can also make a difference in the lives of Lumberjacks by donating to the NAU Foundation. Your gift will support student success, research discovery, faculty excellence, athletic achievement and more.