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The John H.F. Wheeler Memorial Fund

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (24)
Views (1,182)

Why This Project Is Important 

This project will fund outreach to high school students to inspire the next generation of natural resource scholars and professionals. This fund will honor the memory of John H.F. Wheeler, who was a student in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Tech.

Project Description 

John Hammond Forrest Wheeler, beloved son, brother, uncle, friend, student, and co-worker died suddenly in a traffic accident on November 23, 2016. He was 22. John was a senior forestry major in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES) and a native of the area, having grown up just south of Houghton. John touched the lives of many people within the university and throughout the community. He was highly intelligent, hard-working, and had a passion for the outdoors. John brought light and laughter into the lives of all who knew him. His demeanor and attitude were always cheerful, relaxed and positive.

John often spoke about the need to reach out to high school students to expose them to the variety of career opportunities in natural resources. Given the many complex and pressing environmental issues confronting society today, inspiring the next generation of natural resources professionals is critical. This project aims to make John’s idea a reality.

Following the accident, the community came together to raise funds for the family in their time of need. The outpouring of support and generosity from neighbors, friends and classmates was incredible. As a result, the amount raised was more than what was needed by the Wheeler family. With the excess funds, John's father, Bob Wheeler, created a nonprofit in his son’s name to support projects that foster education and awareness of natural resources, including creating an outdoor learning area and nature trail behind Houghton Elementary School. Recently, Bob led an effort to bring SFRES students, faculty and staff to Houghton High School to talk with students about natural resources (see photos).

We are asking for your support to establish the John H.F. Wheeler Memorial Fund. The endowed fund will be used to provide financial awards to deserving SFRES upper division undergraduate students to serve as ambassadors and to pay for their travel costs on an annual basis. Award recipients will visit with local/regional high schools to talk about natural resource careers and share their experiences in SFRES. Awards will be determined based on an application process.

Please consider supporting this worthy cause to honor John Wheeler and to inspire the next generation of natural resource professionals. Thank you.

(The photo of John sitting by tree was taken by Dan Haskell)

Meet the Researcher

Matt Kelly

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Michigan Technological University



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$11,580
of $35,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $483
97
days left
33%
funded
$500
last

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Provide financial awards to deserving SFRES students
  • Support outreach to high schools
  • Raise awareness of natural resource careers
  • Cover the cost of traveling to local/regional high schools
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.
Terry Sharik, Dean of SFRES, has committed to match the first $5,000 in donations.

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.