Villanova Celebrates Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary

Peggy Shepard from West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT) to give keynote address

Fair Trade Symposium, Farmer’s Market featuring local produce and Community Forum on Campus Sustainability highlight Earth Day festivities

Villanova, Pa., April 15, 2010 – Villanova University celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a full lineup of campus sustainability events from April 21-23. Peggy Shepard, executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT), one of the nation's most prominent environmental organizations, will give the keynote address on environmental justice.

Villanova has a rich history in promoting environmental awareness. Shepard follows an illustrious lineup of previous Earth Day speakers that include Robert F. Kennedy Jr, whose address was a highlight of a four-day International Sustainability Conference held at Villanova last April.

2010 Earth Day Schedule of Events:

April 21:

  • Keynote Address: WE ACT Executive Director and Co-Founder Peggy Shepard
    “Advancing Environmental Justice, Health and Sustainability”
    7:00 p.m., Connelly Center Cinema

April 22:

  • Community Forum on Campus Sustainability
    9:00-10:00 a.m., Falvey Library (first floor lounge)
  • Celebration of Sustainability
    11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Connelly Center
    Features eco-vendors, environmental organizations, info about campus environmental initiatives.
  • Fair Trade Symposium, co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Services
    1:00-5:00 p.m., Driscoll Hall (first floor auditorium)
  • Farmer’s Market featuring local produce
    All Day, Connelly Center (outdoors)
  • Student Training/Organizing on Climate Change
    6:00-8:00 p.m., Bartley Hall (Room 024)
    Led by Chris West from Catholic Relief Services.

April 23:

  • Student Earth Day Festival
    12:00-4:00 p.m., Sheehan Field (front of University facing Lancaster Avenue)
    Features student bands and performances and eco-vendors.

Since embracing the inaugural Earth Day in 1970, the Villanova community has made a point of integrating sustainability principles across the curriculum. For example, the College of Engineering recently launched a unique master’s of science degree program in Sustainable Engineering to help prepare students for the growing green jobs market. From the Environmental Leadership Learning Community to the residence hall Energy Conservation Competition and the University’s first “green” dorm, the University's stewardship of the earth and its resources is a fundamental part of the Villanova experience.

Environmental responsibility is reflected throughout University operations. Villanova pursues LEED-Silver Certification on all new construction and major renovations. Dining Services has removed trans-fats from all dining halls, composts waste, provides recyclable utensils made from potato starch and serves only organic salad in the student center. The three main dining halls on campus are also completely “trayless” to reduce the quantity of wasted food and beverages.

In 2004, Villanova University formally implemented the Campus Environmental Sustainability Policy, pledging the University to sustainable practices. University President Father Peter M. Donohue further reinforced Villanova’s commitment to sustainability in 2007 by the signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the goal of which is to make Villanova a climate-neutral campus. Villanova recently submitted its formal Climate Action Plan (CAP) to the ACUPCC, setting forth the year 2050 as the University’s target date for net climate neutrality.

For more information about Earth Day events: http://www.villanova.edu/sustainability/earthday/

For more information on the many eco-friendly programs and sustainability efforts across the University, visit: http://www.villanova.edu/sustainability/

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.