The Nimrod Education Center will offer up to four one-year fellowships and scholarships in hunting and fishing this fall. Students have until Friday, April 22 to apply.
“You could have years of field experience or be just getting started in the sport,” said the center’s director, Al Stewart. “More than anything, we need candidates who want to learn more about how we can promote and preserve hunting and fishing in America.”
According to Stewart, the fellowship hopes to expand to eight students in the future. Applicants will be required to have a valid hunting and fishing license or be willing to work toward getting one as part of the fellowship.
“We established the Nimrod Fellowship to educate students and citizens about the benefits of hunting and fishing,” Stewart said. “The fellowship idea is a great way to involve students in the work of the center.”
Once accepted, fellows will help at Nimrod Center events and attend the Nimrod Practicum, a non-academic course that will teach the practical aspects of hunting and fishing. They will also be required to take two of the following courses that may be completed anytime during their four years: Introduction to Shooting Sports, Introduction to Archery, Basic Shotgun, and Conservation.
“We did not want the fellowship to become an onerous responsibility for already busy students,” Stewart said. “Rather, we want it to be educational and exciting.”
Fellows will also have access to Stewart’s numerous connections in conservation and wildlife management, according to Morgan Morrison, a staff writer for Institutional Advancement who is assisting with the fellowship’s launch.
“Al Stewart worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for many years as an upland game birds specialist,” Morrison said. “He knows everyone worth knowing in the field. In the office, when we need to contact someone new from the NRA, Ducks Unlimited, or other similar organizations, we always say, ‘Just ask Al,’ and he almost always knows them. Nimrod Fellows will certainly benefit from Al Stewart’s industry knowledge and contacts.”
The Nimrod Center was founded after Alan N. Taylor, president of the Nimrod Society, left a large endowment to the college.
According to its website, the Nimrod Society is a non-profit foundation “aimed at encouraging state and federal wildlife management and conservation agencies to adopt self-sustaining revenue models to fund ongoing, comprehensive media-based education campaigns targeted at the general public.”
The Nimrod Center at Hillsdale specifically aims at fostering hunting and fishing, according to Morrision.
“Hunting and fishing instill virtue, and that is what our country lacks most,” Morrison said. “To have a republic, you need citizens who are strong, skillful, vigilant, and decisive — the virtues of hunting. When you learn to hunt, raise, and gather your own food, you are not beholden to a government or an increasingly fragile supply chain. It is not a coincidence that regions known for hunting, like the Upper Peninsula, Texas, and Appalachia, are also the most defensive of their natural rights.”