Villanova University 2014 Earth Day Celebration Highlights Commitment to Sustainability

This year’s Earth Day Celebration will focus on Sustainable Agriculture and feature a keynote address by Dean Carlson, founder and owner of Wyebrook Farm

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University views environmental stewardship as an important part of its mission. After embracing the inaugural Earth Day in 1970, the University has since used the occasion to host stimulating speakers and special events on campus. Villanova will continue the tradition this year by hosting a series of programs and events in celebration of the 44th Earth Day, April 22.

Having long demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability through environmentally-focused policies, initiatives and academic programs, Villanova’s approach to preserving the environment exemplifies an emphasis on social justice and community service.

“Sustainability and respect for the earth are an important part of the Villanova tradition, and we integrate sustainability into our curricula, scholarly research, academic and community events, and institutional policy and practice,” said Nathaniel Weston, assistant professor of environmental science in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “We highlight our commitment to sustainability with our annual celebration of Earth Day.”

This year’s Earth Day Celebration will feature a keynote speech by Dean Carlson, founder and owner of Wyebrook Farm in Honey Brook, PA. Other Earth Day events include a Sustainability Fair and Famers Market, as well as a panel discussion on “sustainable agriculture.” All Earth Day events are free and open to the public.

Below is a full schedule of Earth Day events:

Tuesday, April 22

  • Sustainability Fair – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Lower Level Connelly Center (indoors)
    Ecovendors, student environmental organizations, information tables on campus environmental initiatives, green jobs, and alternative energy companies, raffles, green tours of campus, T-shirt tie-dyeing, and other displays will be located on the lower level of the Connelly Center. In addition, students in Introduction to Environmental Science and Conservation Biology courses will display the results of their semester-long research projects.

  • Sustainability Fair Farmers Market – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Lower Level Connelly Center (outdoors)
    Villanova University Dining Services has arranged an offering of locally grown produce along with breads, meats, beverages and other products. Cash, Novabucks, and credit cards will be accepted. Free samples and raffle prizes are available!

  • Earth Day Keynote Address by Dean Carlson, “From Wall Street to Wyebrook” – 5 p.m.
    Connelly Center Cinema
    Dean Carlson is the founder and owner of Wyebrook Farm in Honey Brook, PA. During and after college, Carlson focused on a career in finance, and worked for 15 years on Wall Street. He came to realize the importance and economic potential of sustainable agriculture, and founded Wyebrook Farm to provide an alternative to the industrial food supply system. Wyebrook Farm provides food to the local community that is produced without artificial fertilizer, pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Carlson will tell the story of his journey from Wall Street to Wyebrook Farm and describe why sustainable agriculture is becoming more essential to our society.

Wednesday, April 23

  • Panel Discussion on Sustainable Agriculture – 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
    Falvey Library, Speaker’s Corner
    Join Villanova faculty and invited experts in a panel discussion focused on our food system, the environmental and social consequences of industrial agriculture, and the challenges and opportunities offered by sustainable agriculture. Questions and debate between panelists and the audience is encouraged. Continental breakfast provided.

Saturday, April 26

  • Earth Day of Service – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Join students eager to  pitch in to improve the Earth, promote sustainability, and put  social justice into action through  contributing a morning of environmental/community service. Contact Allen Landis (alandis2@villanova.edu) to get involved or for more information.

In 2007, The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of the University, reinforced Villanova’s commitment to sustainability by signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the goal of which is to make Villanova a climate-neutral campus. Villanova submitted a formal Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, designating the year 2050 as the University’s target date for net climate neutrality.

In addition to the efforts aimed at making Villanova’s physical campus more sustainable, the University has numerous academic programs that provide an emphasis on sustainability. They include a master’s degree in sustainable engineering; first-year environmental learning community; bachelor’s degrees in environmental science, environmental studies, and environmental biology/ecology; undergraduate minors in environmental studies and sustainability studies; biology master’s degree, graduate certificate, and advanced graduate certificate with a concentration in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology; master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering; a graduate certificate in urban water resources design; and a graduate sustainability course in “Sustainable Industrial Chemistry.”

Villanova’s 2014 Earth Day Celebration is co-sponsored by The President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, Falvey Library, Dining Services, the Villanova Center for Peace and Justice, Villanova Center for Liberal Education, Villanova’s Maintenance and Grounds staff, and the departments of Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geography and the Environment, and History.

For more information on the Villanova Commitment to Sustainability, click here.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.