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Estate gift will ensure new opportunities in environmental science, conservation
Terrence Ingram
Photo supplied Terrence Ingram graduated from UW-Platteville in 1961. His recent estate gift to the UW-Platteville Foundation will ensure opportunities for the next generation of students to continue his work in this field.

By Alison Parkins


PLATTEVILLE — Terrence Ingram’s lifelong passion for nature propelled him through a celebrated career in conservationism that spanned more than 60 years. Now, his recent estate gift to the UW-Platteville Foundation will ensure opportunities for the next generation of students to continue his work in this field.

Ingram graduated from UW-Platteville in 1961. While his degrees were in physics and mathematics, he never let go of his passion for environmentalism, particularly studying birds. Ingram says, as a high schooler, he spent every Sunday afternoon in the timber looking for birds.

“I took a course in ornithology at Platteville, even though the professor didn’t think I should because I didn’t have a biology background,” said Ingram. “But, by the time the class was over, I was taking half the class on fieldtrips, while the professor took the other half.”

During college, Ingram became a master bird bander for the US Fish and Wildlife Service — a role he held for more than 50 years. He studied bald eagles since 1961 and is the only person to have coordinated more than 64 years of Midwinter Bald Eagle Counts in the Midwest. Ingram served as president and executive director of the Eagle Nature Foundation and its predecessors, The Eagle Foundation and Eagle Valley Environmentalists, for 55 years. He is credited with saving over 10,000 acres of bald eagle habitat.

Ingram was a Master Beekeeper, tending to over 250 hives with his wife, Nancy, producing and selling over 10,000 pounds of honey a year, teaching classes in “Beginning Beekeeping” for over 50 years and publishing the “Small Beekeepers Journal” for over 30 years.

Ingram received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who for his works as an author, writing the book “EAGLE,” published by Friedman Publishers, and the books “Plight of the Bald Eagle” and “Silent Fall.”

Reflecting on his own educational journey at UW-Platteville, Ingram emphasizes how important it is to make the most of everything the university has to offer.

“I went [to UW-Platteville] for an education, and I made sure I got as much as possible in as many areas as possible,” said Ingram. “I took a few biology classes and knew all the biology instructors. Many of the students would come in and major in a topic and that was the only topic they knew. That’s not the way I did it. I took classes all over the place in order to broaden my education.”

Ingram’s estate gift, which created the Terrence and Nancy Ingram Environmental Science Fellowship, will help future generations of UW-Platteville students broaden their education as well. The endowed fund will support research and other scholarly opportunities for faculty and students interested in environmental science and conservation.

“The kindness and generosity of Terry and Nancy Ingram are inspiring and will profoundly shape the opportunities available to current and future students in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Society,” said Dr. Evan Larson, professor and chair of the department. “Already, students have been supported by the fellowship to develop key skills in land stewardship, including chainsaw safety training and certification to work with wildland fire. Taking care of the land builds reciprocity — it enriches the ecology of everything around us, which in turn strengthens our own relationships and wellbeing. It is a beautiful thing to see renewal, diversity and richness promoted through saws and flames. This represents an emerging understanding across society that will be led by UW-Platteville students and alumni. Thank you, Terry and Nancy, for helping make this vision real.”

The fund also supported UW-Platteville’s hosting of the recent 2024 Prescribed Fire Conference, which brought together more than 200 people committed to land conservation.

“Terry is a true pioneer in the field of conservation and his estate gift to the UW-Platteville Foundation truly embodies our Pioneer spirit as it will provide students with transformative opportunities for years to come,” said Stacia Stephenson, executive director of Development and Alumni Engagement and the UW-Platteville Foundation. “We are immensely grateful for this gift and the student and faculty experiences it will foster.”