University of Montevallo student from Russellville receives Buckmasters scholarship

Porter James, of Russellville was recently awarded the Buckmasters Scholarship at the University of Montevallo.

The Buckmasters American Deer Foundation established the scholarship in 2015 to promote the outdoor experience in connection with the University of Montevallo President’s Outdoor Scholars Program. UM’s Outdoor Scholars Program is committed to educating the next generation on the values of work ethic and conservation to lead the way in protecting the country’s heritage for the benefits of its wildlife, lands and natural resources.

Buckmasters became the first corporate sponsor of the program, offering a UM freshman entering the program a $2,500 scholarship each year. The scholarship recipient is selected based on an essay competition. James’ essay on preserving wildlife and his family’s experiences managing deer was selected among the applicants.

James was recognized at the Buckmasters Expo held Aug. 20 at the Montgomery Convention Center. UM President John W. Stewart III, program director William Crawford and Buckmasters’ Jackie Bushman presented Porter his scholarship on stage prior to the Charlie Daniels Band concert. Porter and his family were also given backstage access to meet the band.

“I was wanting to pursue an occupation in the outdoor industry. My dad found out about the program on Facebook, and that is what brought me to Montevallo,” James said.

James has already participated in several Outdoor Scholars Program events. He said enjoys learning ways to contribute to wildlife preservation and the outdoors. He explained that in getting to know other students in program, it helps that they are all coming together with a common interest. “It’s not about if you bag a trophy; it’s about the experience. It’s about the memories made outdoors.”

Upon receiving the scholarship, James told his parents, “I told you hunting could pay off.”

In addition to the scholarship and outdoor activities, James said he knows the President’s Outdoor Scholars Program will introduce him to a variety of career paths and networking opportunities.

James said he thinks the program is good at connecting students to the University. “College is a little overwhelming, but I like that the University of Montevallo is a smaller university – makes it feel somewhat like home.”

The President’s Outdoor Scholars Program is unique to Alabama, offering students the opportunity to earn their degree while also taking an active role in conserving the state’s natural resources. Created by President Stewart of the University of Montevallo, the program, with an emphasis on conservation and game management, gives outdoor-minded students a way to stay involved in their passion while in college. It also provides insight into future employment opportunities within the outdoor industry.

James is the son of Mark and Lauranne James.

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