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Earth Day Celebration 2012 Highlights Villanova's Sustainability Efforts, Values

Annual Earth Day events to be held April 18-20; Free and open to the public

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has embraced Earth Day since its inaugural event in 1970. This year, Villanova’s 42nd annual Earth Day Celebration will be held April 18-20, in advance of this Sunday’s global Earth Day. The University will host a series of Earth Day events and programs, free and open to the public, to foster the conversation and action around environmental sustainability. Earth Day festivities include an expert roundtable on the 50th Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a discussion of Tri-State wildlife rescue and research, a sustainability fair and farmer’s market, and a “No Impact Week” for Villanova faculty, staff and students.

All Week – through Sunday, April 22
No Impact Week"
Members of the University community can join in the celebration and decrease their environmental impact by participating in “No Impact Week,” through Sunday, April 22, in partnership with the No Impact Project. Michelle Velez, a Villanova sophomore from Garden City, N.Y., and member of the VU President's Environmental Sustainability Committee, organized the event. This program is a one-week carbon cleanse experiment founded by the No Impact Project – an international, environmental, nonprofit project which uses education, entertainment and group action to engage new people in the quest for ways of living that connect individual happiness with service to community and habitat.

Wednesday, April 18, 5 p.m., Connelly Center Cinema
A Roundtable on the 50th Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring (1962) exposed the dangers of agricultural pesticides and helped shape the present-day environmental movement. Villanova students will read excerpts of Silent Spring in between faculty presentations by John Olson, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the President's Environmental Sustainability Committee, Amanda Grannas, PhD, Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Paul Rosier, PhD, Associate Professor of History, and Chaone Mallory, PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. An organic reception will follow in the Connelly Center Cinema foyer.

Thursday, April 19, 9 a.m., Falvey Library Speaker's Corner
Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research and the BP Oil Spill
Sarah Tegtmeier, Oil Programs Manager of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, will discuss Tri-State’s role as a wildlife responder to oil spills and the subsequent animal rehabilitation process, with a focus on the BP/Deepwater Horizon crisis in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. Located in Newark, Del., Tri-State is one of only two U.S. organizations equipped to manage a response to a major oil spill. At any time, Tri-State’s trained staff members are able to respond to wildlife contaminated by oil spills anywhere in the world. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday, April 19, 11 a.m. – 2p.m., Connelly Center, Lower Level (indoors)
Sustainability Fair          
The 2012 Sustainability Fair will feature eco-vendors, alternative energy companies, student environmental organizations, information about Villanova’s environmental initiatives and Green Jobs, raffles for Villanova basketball and football tickets, samples from Dining Services, and more. Students enrolled in Introduction to Environmental Science (GEV 1051) also will display the results of their semester-long research on Villanova’s campus environment.

Thursday, April 19, 11 a.m. – 2p.m., Connelly Center, Lower Level (outdoors)
Sustainability Fair Farmer's Market
Villanova’s Dining Services has arranged for local vendors, including area farmers, to offer locally grown produce, breads, meats, beverages and other products. Only cash can be accepted. There will be a chef on-site preparing free samples also.

Villanova’s Earth Day Celebration concludes with the Student Earth Day Festival on Friday, April 20, from Noon-4 p.m., on Sheehan Field, across Route 30/Lancaster Avenue from the University’s Main Parking Lot.

Since first embracing the inaugural Earth Day in 1970, the University has integrated sustainability principles and environmental responsibility throughout its curriculum and operations.

In 2004, Villanova University formally implemented the Campus Environmental Sustainability Policy, pledging the University to sustainable practices. In 2007, The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of the University, further 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 has submitted its formal Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, setting forth the year 2050 as the University’s target date for net climate neutrality.

Villanova is ranked #32 nationally by the Sierra Club, in its fifth-annual “Cool Schools” ranking of the greenest colleges in the United States. Environmental sustainability and awareness are integral to the academic life of the University. Numerous programs provide an emphasis on sustainability, including: master’s degree in sustainable engineering; first-year “Nature and the World” 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, and a graduate certificate in urban water resources design. Villanova also recently added a new graduate sustainability course in “Sustainable Industrial Chemistry.”

Click here for more information on Villanova’s Commitment to Sustainability.

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.