09.09.2015: The Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund Established.

In honor of Bill Raynor (February 22, 1957 – September 1, 2015), Director of The Nature Conservancy Pacific Division, and his 34 years of conservation work in the region, the Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund he helped establish to support emerging leaders in the region, has been renamed the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund. As a longtime resident of the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, Bill learned the Pohnpeian language and earned a Pohnpeian honorific title Soumadau en Peini Eng Eihr—the Lord of the Altar of the East Wind—for, among other deeds, growing giant yams and being considered a true Pohnpeian master agroforester. In 1992, he helped launch the Conservancy’s program in the FSM, focusing on innovative, community-led conservation and building partnerships. Bill lived life, including his end of life, on his terms—fully, with love, and with a commitment to others and to the world. 

Bill was deeply committed to building future conservation champions in the region throughout his life, and established this scholarship fund in February as another way to help achieve this. For more information, please contact Mr. Willy Kostka at director@ourmicronesia.org. You can also give directly to the fund, by visiting MCT’s website at http://www.ourmicronesia.org/ and clicking on the “Donate” button in the upper right corner.