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Virginia Tech History Resources: College of Natural Resources & Environment

This guide details resources intended to help those doing research on the history of Virginia Tech, including the use of Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, and related resources.

Researching the College of Natural Resources & Environment (CNRE)

Here are resources for the College of Natural Resources & Environment (CNRE) and related items. In addition to the below items, the University Archives holds unprocessed records of CNRE. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.

General Resources

Record groups may include posters, flyers, photos, organizational records, and more. Materials are divided into assigned Record Groups based on the office, division, or unit and designated by the prefix, RG. For example, materials relating to CNRE are designated RG 45/x, while the Department of Geography is designated both RG 45/10 and RG 15/10 (prior to 2003, when it was housed in the College of Arts & Sciences).

About the College of Natural Resources & Environment (CNRE)

By the 1930s, Virginia Polytechnic Institute offered its first programs in forestry and wildlife. The Virginia Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit began in 1935, and three years later the Department of Biology started offering the first B.S. in conservation and forestry. In 1959, the Department of Forestry and Wildlife was founded in the College of Agriculture. In 1974, the Department split into the departments of Forestry and Forest Products and of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. A year later, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources was created within the College of Agriculture. By 1992, the College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources was established, offering majors and minors to students, although it was not fully phased in until 1994. In 2000, the college changed its name to the College of Natural Resources, and in 2010, it became the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

Online Histories and Exhibits

CNRE Collections

CNRE Collections

Here are several SCUA collections related to the College of Natural Resources and Environment. This is not a comprehensive list of all our related collections. To find more, please search within our collections on Archival Resources of the Virginias.

CNRE Publications

About Special Collections and University Archives


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Virginia Tech's Land Acknowledgement & Labor Recognition

Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo / Monacan People’s homeland, and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that the Morrill Land-Grant College Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands in western territories. We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo / Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.

Virginia Tech acknowledges that its Blacksburg campus sits partly on land that was previously the site of the Smithfield and Solitude Plantations, owned by members of the Preston family. Between the 1770s and the 1860s, the Prestons and other local White families that owned parcels of what became Virginia Tech also owned hundreds of enslaved people. We acknowledge that enslaved Black people generated wealth that financed the predecessor institution to Virginia Tech, the Preston and Olin Institute, and they also worked on construction of its building. Not until 1953, however, was the first Black student permitted to enroll. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Full and short version of the acknowledgement can be found on InclusiveVT's website.