The Villanova Commitment to Sustainability
Villanova is a dynamic learning community founded in 1842 by the Order of St. Augustine. The Augustinian values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas (translated as truth, unity, and love) guide intellectual and social life at Villanova to this day. In keeping with our Augustinian tradition—which emphasizes service to, and care for, one’s community—we integrate sustainability and respect for the earth into our curricula, scholarly research, academic and community events, and institutional policy and practice.
Named one of Princeton Review’s 322 Green Colleges
Villanova has a rich history in promoting environmental awareness. The Villanova community embraced the inaugural Earth Day in 1970, and has since used this opportunity to host dynamic speakers and special events. In the early 1990s, the Villanova campus became a designated arboretum, housing approximately 1,500 trees of 250 different species. Educators and researchers in all five colleges—the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, and the School of Law—offer courses and conduct research relevant to environmental sustainability and climate change. Villanova strives to build green buildings, and two green roofs have been installed in recent years. To broaden dialog beyond the walls of the campus, Villanova has recently hosted two environmental conferences, Catholic Social Teaching and Ecology (9-11 November 2005) and the International SustainAbility Conference (22-25 April 2009).
Environmental responsibility is reflected in university operations as well. For example, Villanova Dining Services has set into place many environmentally responsible and sustainable practices. In 2004, Villanova University formally implemented the Campus Environmental Sustainability Policy, pledging the university to sustainable practices (see Why Sustainability for more detail). Upon his appointment as the university’s 32nd president in 2007, Father Peter M. Donohue further reinforced Villanova’s commitment to sustainability by the signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, the goal of which is to make Villanova a climate-neutral campus.
#32 Most Sustainable Universities in the Nation - Sierra Club “Cool Schools” Ranking
Student involvement and academic programs form the heart of Villanova's commitment to sustainability. From the Environmental Leadership Learning Community and the residence hall Energy Conservation Competition to becoming involved in several student groups and projects in all five colleges on campus, the university' stewardship of the earth and its resources is considered to be a fundamental part of the Villanova mission.
"You discover the earth's springing energy, its amazing beauty, its most excellent potency... to praise your Creator you make the earth's cry your own." —St. Augustine, Enarratio in Psalmum 144.13
"To seek the highest good is to live well" —St. Augustine