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Villanova University 2013 Earth Day Celebration Marks Continued Commitment to Sustainability

Highlighting this year’s Villanova Earth Day Celebration is a Keynote Address from the City of Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability, Katherine Gajewski

Villanova University Commitment to Sustainability

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University views environmental stewardship as an important part of its Augustinian Catholic mission, and has long demonstrated this strong commitment through environmentally-focused policies, initiatives and academic programs. The Villanova community embraced the inaugural Earth Day in 1970, and has since used this opportunity to host dynamic speakers and special campus events. The University will once again host a series of programs and events in celebration of the 43rd Earth Day, April 22.

Villanova’s Earth Day events include a Sustainability Fair and Farmers Market, as well as a keynote speech by Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. The Earth Day Celebration is free and open to the general public.

Below is a full schedule of Earth Day events:

8:30 a.m. - Panel Discussion on Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale
Falvey Library Speaker’s Corner
Join Villanova faculty and invited experts in a discussion on the economic opportunities and environmental challenges posed by natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. The discussion will include questions posed by the audience. Continental breakfast provided.

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. - Sustainability Fair
Lower Level Connelly Center (indoors)
Eco-vendors, student environmental organizations, information about campus environmental initiatives and Green Jobs, alternative energy companies, raffles of Villanova basketball and football tickets, Dining Service samples, and other displays will take place in the bottom floor of Connelly Center. In addition, students in Introduction to Environmental Science (GEV 1051) will display the results of their semester-long research on Villanova’s campus environment.

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. - Sustainability Fair Farmer’s Market
Lower Level Connelly Center (outdoors)
Dining Services has arranged for local vendors, including area farmers, to offer locally grown produce, breads, meats, beverages and other products. Cash only. There will also be a chef on site preparing free samples!

4:30 p.m. - Earth Day Keynote Address
Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
Connelly Cinema
Katherine Gajewski was appointed by Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter to head the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Mayor Nutter pledged in 2008 to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America. Greenworks Philadelphia is an ambitious plan released in 2009 that sets 15 sustainability targets in the areas of energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement to realize the Mayor’s goal by 2015. The city has made substantial progress towards sustainability objectives under the leadership of Ms. Gajewski and Mayor Nutter.

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 listed among the nation’s greenest colleges in the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” Ranking, as well as by in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges. 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.”

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.