In continuation of a long-time partnership between the Weyerhaeuser Company and Mississippi State University's forest resources educators, the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation donates a $25,000 grant to Mississippi State's Franklin Center for Furniture Manufacturing and Management.
Officially opened in January, the Franklin Center - named for Mississippi businessman Hassell Franklin - houses the multi-disciplinary Institute for Furniture Manufacturing and Management, the largest furniture research program in North America. The $25,000 Weyerhaeuser grant is being used to provide distance-learning equipment and technologies at Franklin Center, for use by industry and in collaboration with other universities.
"Weyerhaeuser has supported us well over the years," said Bob L. Karr, Ph.D., dean and director of Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources. "We are quite grateful for all the support both in research and financially."
"Weyerhaeuser is honored to be able to provide this grant to further Hassell Franklin's vision by supporting upholstered furniture education at MSU," said David Still, Weyerhaeuser vice president for the Building Materials Service Centers, also a Mississippi State graduate. "His contributions have been significant and it is an honor and a privilege to partner with him over the years."
Previous partnerships between Mississippi State and Weyerhaeuser Company include forest management, wildlife research and the development of ChoiceFrame™, a joint-by-joint frame strength tool.
The grant from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation was recommended by Weyerhaeuser's Mississippi-Alabama Timberlands group and its Building Materials business, which operates 70 building materials service centers in the U.S., including ones at Gulfport, Miss., Tuscumbia, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn.
"It's been a good relationship and partnership between MSU and Weyerhaeuser over the years," said Ben Jones, region manager for Weyerhaeuser's Mississippi-Alabama timberlands region, "Weyerhaeuser is proud to provide these funds to further support furniture education." Jones earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in forestry from Mississippi State.
The new building - built with state funds and private donations - highlights the beauty and strength of wood in its design. With a 20-station computer laboratory, 40-seat classroom, a multi-media auditorium that seats more than 75 and a large conference room, the center is equipped for both distance learning and classroom instruction.
The mission of the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is to improve the quality of life in communities where Weyerhaeuser has a presence and to support forest industry education. Since 1948, the Foundation has directed more than $162 million to the communities where Weyerhaeuser employees work, live and play. Nationwide, the Foundation's annual philanthropic budget totals $10 million.
Weyerhaeuser operates more than a dozen facilities in Mississippi and employs more than 1,700 men and women in the state. The company also sustainably manages more than 625,000 acres of timberland in the state, all certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative™ standard.
Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY), one of the world's largest integrated forest products companies, was incorporated in 1900. In 2003, sales were $19.9 billion. It has operations in 18 countries, with customers worldwide. Weyerhaeuser is principally engaged in the growing and harvesting of timber; the manufacture, distribution and sale of forest products; and real estate construction, development and related activities. Additional information about Weyerhaeuser's businesses, products and practices is available at www.weyerhaeuser.com/wbm.
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