NASCAR driver Ward Burton will be visiting Virginia Tech on Thursday, Sept. 6, as a participant in the Wood Week 2007 Career Fair.

Burton, a native from South Boston, Va., currently drives the #4 State Water Heater Chevrolet for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Burton has won some of NASCAR's most prestigious events, including the 2002 Daytona 500 and the Southern 500, two races that some highly successful drivers have tried their entire careers to win.

The Wood Week Career Fair will be held on the Virginia Tech Drillfield from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 6, with 50 industry and association participants from the forest products industries nationwide. The event is sponsored by the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources.

The fair will bring awareness to careers, internships, summer opportunities in the industry, and awareness of the wood science major. Companies are coming from as far as California, Mississippi, Michigan and surrounding states. The fair is open to all Virginia Tech students. There are activities planned each day of the week in association with Wood Week and a complete calendar of events is available at .

The public is invited to meet Ward Burton from noon to 1 p.m.

The only interest that equals Burton’s passion for racing is his intense passion for the environment. Growing up, Ward spent much time in the great outdoors and often lived off the land for days on end at a place called the COVE, which his wildlife foundation owns and manages today. He contributes to multiple causes related to the environment and his philanthropy has penetrated programs ranging from K-12 education to landowner awareness of environmental federal stewardship programs.

In 1996, he established the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, which manages a 2000-acre wildlife refuge system of protected land as well as 8.5 miles of riverfront on the scenic Staunton River. This project has served as a national model for conservation.

Ward is a leader in environmental education and advocacy, resource protection, and habitat restoration. He has dedicated his life to reducing pollution, improving water quality, advancing recycling efforts, restoring habitat, and replenishing the land often taken away by development. The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation has been recognized both nationally and statewide by leaders at every level of government. His foundation has also partnered with several other organizations since its inception to further its conservation and environmental efforts.

Burton is a Virginia Tech supporter and has visited campus several times in the past. A few months ago at Richmond International Raceway, Ward Burton supported the Virginia Tech community by featuring the VT logo on the hood of the #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports State Water Heaters Chevrolet Impala SS.

The Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources is the leading program in North America engaged in wood and renewable materials utilization. Faculty focus on the science and business of wood and renewable materials utilization through learning, discovery, and engagement. The department is home to the Center for Forest Products Marketing and Management, the Center for Unit Load Design, the Wood-Based Composites Center, the Sustainable Engineered Materials Institute and the award winning Wood Magic Show for fourth and fifth grade children and their teachers. Through cooperation with the department of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business, the department co-directs the Alfred P. Sloan Forest Industries Center. The department is an active participant in the renewable materials research initiative in the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS). Students learn from the leading wood and renewable materials scientists in the world, who bring the latest science and application of principles to the classroom.

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