One of Mississippi's most highly decorated military men and longtime friend of the university, retired Air Force Col. K.D. Johnson of Ridgeland, established the Colonel K.D. Johnson Endowment of Excellence to be funded with approximately 400 acres of timberland in Scott and Leake Counties. Johnson attended Mississippi State University as an Engineering student before entering the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps in 1942.
The Johnson family has owned the land since his retirement from the military. Serving multiple purposes, the timberland will be a field-based learning resource for forestry students and will generate income from timber harvesting for the CFR. Funds generated from the management of the property and timber harvesting will be used to establish chairs, professorships, scholarships, fellowships, faculty development, procedure equipment, and for general enhancements in the Department of Forestry. Administration within the CFR has established a management plan for the property with the best science-based forestry principles and practices. In addition to the generous gift of timberland, Johnson also established the the Col. Kenneth "K.D." and Catherine B Johnson Endowed Scholarship fund. This fund will support students within the Department of Forestry.