President Reveley’s State of the University

October 14, 2009

Earlier today, W&M President Taylor Reveley sent out his “State of the University” address to the College community. He makes a strong case for why, even in the current economic climate, W&M is still deserving of its high national standing, and in fact is poised to reach new peaks in the years to come.

Of course, I was reading with a more specific thought in mind: what does he think of our recent strides in sustainability? I wasn’t disappointed: President Reveley generously praised the sustainability efforts here at W&M in his “final thoughts.” He states that “The College’s “Green Grade” in the Princeton evaluation improved from 84 to 90,” and highlights a few notable initiatives that have taken place over the past year or two:

Last fall, we marshaled a Committee on Sustainability, to administer the “Green Fee” (the $30 annual levy that the students voted to impose on themselves – or their parents). The Green Fee raises more than $200,000 each year. Today, the committee includes more than 120 staff, faculty, students and administrators in three subcommittees and 10 working groups. Examples of their efforts to date include an audit of sustainability in the College’s curriculum, improved environmental procurement standards, the funding of HVAC upgrades in Washington and Tyler Halls, and undergraduate research in solar cell production. Last summer, two sustainability interns researched the College’s recycling program and identified over $40,000 in savings. And a recent report showed that W&M has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions size by almost 16 percent.

I want to thank President Reveley for his continued support of me, the Committee on Sustainability, and all of the great work happening here at W&M, sustainability-related and otherwise. We’re in very capable and supportive hands.

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