News & Resources


Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Leaders - Competition opens for DeWitt and Snyder Fellowships

Dec 11, 2014

Many of the Au Sable Institute’s more than 4,000 alumni work throughout the world today in leadership positions in environmental science, teaching, and activism to effectively care for God’s creation and inspire others to do the same. As part of its intentional effort to shape and enable future leaders to continue this work, the Au Sable Institute is pleased to invite interested and qualified students to apply for its largest and most competitive academic awards, the Calvin B. DeWitt Leadership Fellowship and the Harold Z. Snyder Fellowship, to support study at the Institute in the coming summer of 2015.

The DeWitt Fellowship is named after the Institute’s founding Executive Director and President Emeritus, Dr. Cal DeWitt. DeWitt's visionary leadership led Au Sable throughout its first two decades as an Institute, and engaged the wider Christian community to care for our Creator God's earth out of joy for God's good gift of creation and out of our responsibility as earthkeepers for serving and protecting it. The DeWitt Fellowship provides an award of US $5,100 to a student applicant who demonstrates not only exemplary academic ability, but a record of accomplishment in Christian leadership in environmental care and effective engagement of others in such work. 

The Harold Z. Snyder Fellowship commemorates the vision, life and legacy of Dr. Harold Snyder, Au Sable’s founder. Using a small amount of land purchased in northern Michigan in 1956, Harold had, by 1958, begun a summer outdoor science camp for boys he called Au Sable Trails. Joining the Biology Faculty at Taylor University (Indiana) in 1962, Harold began to see the possibilities and values of expanding his camp’s curriculum and vision to create courses for college students in environmental study and creation care., while at the same time expanding outdoor environmental education classes into a program that would eventually serve public, parochial, and home school students from 11 counties in northern Michigan. The Snyder Fellowship provides a US $2,500 award to a student of exceptional academic ability who demonstrates aptitude for and commitment to a career in science teaching. 

Students can learn more about the history of the DeWitt and Snyder Fellowships as well as details and materials needed to apply under our Financial Aid webpage. As current Executive Director Fred Van Dyke notes, “We at Au Sable have been honored for many years by the quality of students who have applied for these awards, and by the service and accomplishments of their careers since then. We find that the experience of studying within a community of Christian earthkeepers here at the Institute, as well as the process of learning about Au Sable’s history in the course of applying for these awards, have all played important roles in shaping people into effective leaders in their careers.”

Applications for the DeWitt and Snyder Fellowships will remain open through Thursday, January 15, 2015. Winners will be announced in February. Be part of the legacy. Make an application!