WASHINGTON, DC, February 11, 2011 -- African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) extends our deepest sympathies and well wishes to the family of AWF co-founder Nick Arundel, who died on February 8. Arundel with environmental leader Russell Train and a small group of other visionaries founded AWF (originally calling it the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation) in 1961, at a time when many African countries were gaining independence, with the aim of building Africa's capacity to steward its own natural resources.
In honor of its 50th Anniversary Year, which kicked off last fall, AWF recently held a luncheon in honor of AWF's co-founders and early leaders. Arundel, with his wife Margaret, attended along with Russ Train, AWF former president Paul Schindler, AWF former executive director AWF Gordon Wilson, co-founder James Bugg, and former AWF Board Chair John Heminway.
"I am extremely honored to have had the chance to bring this group together and pay tribute to Mr. Arundel and AWF's other early pioneers. Their vision took root and has been nurtured over 50 years," says AWF CEO Patrick Bergin. "Today, AWF is an Africa-based organization with programs in more than a dozen African countries that has brought millions of acres of land under conservation management for the benefit of people living in wildlife rich areas as well as for people all over the world."
"The vision of the early founders--that Africa would have the capacity to steward its resources for the benefit of its people and the world--is being carried forth," says AWF President Helen Gichohi, AWF's first African president. "I am proud to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Arundel and AWF's other past presidents."
A journalism pioneer and war hero, Arundel worked as a Defense Department correspondent in the Washington bureau of CBS News. He later joined United Press International. After working briefly as special assistant to the Secretary of Commerce, Arundel started Arundel Communications (ArCom, now Times Community Media) with the purchase of a single radio station. He added television stations and newspapers as the years went on.
In addition to being a co-founder and past president of AWF, Mr. Arundel was a founder and president of the National Zoo; the first chairman of George Mason College (now George Mason University); a founder and president of Piedmont Environmental Council; and played a lead role in many organizations. He also served on numerous boards and received various achievement awards over his lifetime.
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