Donors’ Planned Gift to Support Assistantships in Environmental Resources Engineering

Mar, 2019
Tom and Rene Warnock

March 27, 2019—Tom Warnock (’85, Environmental Resources Engineering) and his wife Renee are building a more sustainable future by supporting education at Humboldt State University. They’re achieving this through a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). The annuity allows the Warnocks to diversify their savings portfolio and provides them fixed payments for life with a range of immediate and long-term tax benefits.

The remainder from the CGA will eventually be used to establish the Thomas W. Warnock Environmental Resources Engineering Research Assistantship Endowment Fund. The fund will offer engineering students hands-on learning experience and, in addition, help cover tuition and living expenses.

Tom, who grew up in Cincinnati, attended College of the Redwoods and earned a Forestry Technician certificate in 1976. He went on to fight fire with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) for two years, serving on a helitack crew stationed outside Blue Lake. He also spent two seasons practicing silviculture with the U.S. Forest Service in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest located in southwest Washington.   

It wasn’t until later that Tom found a job at the Loleta Wastewater Treatment Plant where he discovered his interest in engineering. “I was fascinated by the application of biology, chemistry, and engineering. The experience inspired me to pursue a degree in Environmental Resources Engineering at Humboldt State.”

Tom credits his education at HSU, and the Homer Arnold Award he received, with helping him attend graduate school and become a licensed Civil Engineer. “Humboldt State was a springboard to my master’s degree and my profession,” says Tom.

Tom is now Principal Engineer and Vice President at Pace Engineering in Redding, California.  Tom and Renee are now able to help students who will go into the environmental sciences.  “Knowing that many people have forged engineering and science to benefit society is an inspiration for us to pay it forward through the CGA. We hope our gift will do something positive for the environment.”

If you’re interested in learning about Charitable Gift Annuities, or other planned gifts to support HSU students, visit, email the Office of Philanthropy at, or call 707-826-5200.