The Dr. James F. Scudday
Dr. James F. Scudday was a co-founder of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute and a dedicated professor of biology at Sul Ross State University. Upon his retirement in 1995, the Texas State University System Board of Regents named Dr. Scudday a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology, the Board’s highest honor for retired teachers.
Dr. Scudday’s classes were always full. Classroom presentations emphasizing integrated, relevant information consistently engaged students, causing them to anticipate the next session. Dr. Scudday thoroughly enjoyed spending weekends in the field with students, frequently accompanied by his wife, Fern. Despite a heavy teaching load, he found time to conduct significant research, publish in scientific journals, and prepare numerous comprehensive vertebrate surveys for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and National Park Service.
During his tenure at Sul Ross, he directed over 100 students in graduate programs and thesis projects. Over the years, many students maintained contact with Dr. Scudday, never failing to express appreciation for what he had done for them as a teacher and friend.
In honor of his many contributions to the field and his passion for teaching, the Dr. James Scudday Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 2010. Income from the fund is used to support graduate students conducting research in the natural sciences of the Chihuahuan Desert region, with special consideration given to applicants working on research in vertebrate biology. The scholarship application opens in the Spring Semester each year.