School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Campaign Committee Chair
Senior, Wildlife Sciences
Auburn, Alabama, is a long way from Hilary Rizk’s hometown of Strongsville, Ohio, but it has quickly become her second home. And the senior majoring in wildlife sciences with a pre-vet concentration counts the students and faculty in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences as her second family. “It is a close group of people who go to great lengths to help each other reach their potential,” Rizk said.
The ability to become involved in extracurricular activities like SFWS Ambassadors and Study Partners, as well as participating in an undergraduate research program, have also led to Rizk’s successful undergraduate career – activities she notes would not be possible without the benefit of receiving academic scholarships.
“My scholarship has given me freedom from financial obligations that allowed me to attend the school of my dreams, concentrate on my classes, and enrich my experience through extracurricular activities,” she said. “This scholarship is significantly decreasing the amount of debt that I will have upon graduation, which will greatly improve my financial status when I get my first job.” Something that is becoming even more important as Rizk looks beyond her undergraduate years and prepares to attend vet school is knowing she won’t have to enter professional school carrying the burden of a large amount of debt. “My scholarship really has given me freedom,” she said. “Freedom to pursue my dreams and the confidence in knowing people believe I can succeed.”
Orville “Butch” Bach Jr. may have graduated from Auburn with a degree in business, but the forestry and wildlife classes he took as an undergraduate also had a tremendous impact on his life. Bach supplemented his business education at Auburn with classes in forestry, wildlife, fisheries, and resource economics. While he spent his professional career as a professor of business and economics at Walters State Community College in Tennessee, these extra classes prepared him to work during the summers as a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park.
“I owe everything that I have achieved to my Auburn education and the faculty members who emphasized integrity, ethics, and leadership. My professors were outstanding, and I was very well prepared for my career at Walters State and my work with the National Park Service,” he said. In 2006, Bach retired from Walters State and he and his wife Margaret moved to Bozeman, Mont., where he continues to work for the National Park Service.
When he recently made the decision to give back to his alma mater, Bach felt the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences was a natural fit. “I would love to see Auburn contribute to maintaining healthy and diverse forest communities in Alabama and continue its focus on educating, interpreting, preserving and conserving our natural resources,” he said. “I also want to see Auburn continue to feature outstanding, inspired, dedicated faculty providing a great education to our younger generations on how to be good stewards of God’s great creations.”