D. Lynn Drawe is a native of south Texas, having been born in the lower Rio Grande Valley and raised on ranches across the region. His Ph.D. was obtained at Utah State University, and he took his first professional position as assistant professor of range and wildlife management at Texas A&I University in 1970.

The years Drawe was director of the Foundation were marked by tight budgets and a need for repairs on the aging facilities of the organization. Over the years oil and gas production declined significantly and the Foundation’s budget was dependent upon interest on investments in the investment portfolio. The first real need to obtain large amounts of outside funding became a reality.

Upon being hired as director, Drawe made the recommendation that Terry Blankenship and Selma Glasscock both be elevated to the position of assistant director. The hiring of a second assistant director made it necessary to build a fourth residence near headquarters, a structure completed in 2000. The tenure of the two new assistant directors depended upon their completion of their Ph.D. degrees, which they accomplished in short order. The team of Drawe, Blankenship, and Glasscock made an early decision to leave the programs of the Foundation intact and to continue to strive for excellence.

In 2003 tenure Donald E. Bowman bestowed his extensive bird collection to the Foundation. Drawe recognized the value of this gift, and under his guidance a series of events was initiated that led to a capital campagin to construct a new Education Facility with a museum to house the collection. This modernized educational facility, with its classroom-laboratory and collections wing, will more effectively meet the increasing demand from outside groups for quality conservation education.

Drawe organized the Foundation 50th anniversary in 2004 with a 3-day affair consisting of a 2-day student symposium attended by 55 students and their professors, plus a 1-day celebration commemorating the first 50 years of the Foundation’s history. The celebration was attended by more than 350 guests, of which many were former Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellows.