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Villanova University Celebrates 45th Annual Earth Day with Week-Long Program of Events

2015 Earth Day Celebration Will Focus on the Role of Science in Society

Events include keynote panel on “The Politicization of Climate Change,” Sustainability Fair and Farmers Market, Campus Climate March and Earth Day of Service.

Earth Day Celebration 2015

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University will join communities, organizations, schools and universities worldwide in celebrating the 45th annual Earth Day on April 22. Villanova has commemorated the day each year since the inaugural Earth Day was held in 1970. This year’s Earth Day Celebration will feature a keynote panel on “The Politicization of Climate Change,” a Sustainability Fair and Farmers Market, as well as an April 23 “Ignite Change, Not the Planet” Campus Climate March and an April 25 Earth Day of Service. All Earth Day events are free and open to the public.

Villanova’s approach to preserving the environment includes an emphasis on social justice and community service. A series of week-long events will demonstrate the University’s ongoing commitment to integrate sustainability programs into its curricula, scholarly research, academic and community events, as well as its institutional policy and practice.

“The Villanova community celebrates our commitment to sustainability with our annual Earth Day celebration,” said Nathaniel Weston, associate professor of environmental science in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Each year, we recognize Earth Day with a series of academic and community events that highlight important themes related to sustainability. We are focused this year on understanding the vital role that science plays in our society and the importance of science literacy. The events culminate in a Day of Service that engages students and the Villanova community in care of the Earth.”

The full schedule of Earth Day events includes:

Tuesday, April 21

  • Discussion on Conflict Free Minerals with Carolyn Duran from Intel Corporation
    6 p.m.
    Driscoll 132
    Carolyn Duran is a director within Intel's Global Supply Management organization, responsible for supply chain ESG and chemical compliance, as well as the lithography commodity. She oversees Intel’s supply line sustainability, chemical regulations and policy, green material selections, and the company’s “conflict free" minerals program. In addition, her team is responsible for establishing leading-edge supply chain solutions for the chemicals used in advanced photolithography processes.

Wednesday, April 22

  • Sustainability Fair and Farmers Market
    11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Outside the Connelly Center near the “Oreo” statue
    The Villanova community will enjoy Earth Day at the center of campus with a farmers market, food tasting, eco-vendors, raffle, free t-shirt tie dye, student posters, and more! New this year, Zero Waste, Villanovans are invited to help reduce the University’s footprint by recycling and composting their trash on Earth Day.
  • Earth Day Keynote Panel on “The Politicization of Climate Change”
    6 p.m.
    Connelly Center Cinema
    The scientific community recognizes global climate change as one of the major challenges facing society, yet the public perception of the urgency for action trails the scientific consensus, and there has been relatively little legislative action to address global warming in the United States. Dr. Ben Horton, Department of Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University; Dr. Susan Stein, Department of Communication, Drexel University; Rep. Greg Vitali, Pennsylvania House of Representatives; and Dr. Carol Hager, Department of Political Science, Bryn Mawr College, will discuss the scientific process, the political process, the politicization of climate science, media portrayals of science, and the public perception of science.

Thursday, April 23

  • Panel Discussion on the Solutions to Climate Change
    10 – 11 a.m.
    Falvey Library Speaker’s Corner
    Panelists whose careers are focused on working towards a solution to some aspect of climate change will discuss the work they do, and the challenges and opportunities of addressing climate change. Panelists include JoAnn Garbin, KnowE, Aircuity, Sustainable Business Network; David Masur, PennEnvironment; Brenda Gotanda, Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP; Rob Fleming, Engineering & Design Institute, Philadelphia University; and Adam Agalloco, Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Sustainability.
  • Campus Climate March: “Ignite Change, Not the Planet”
    4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    March will begin on the steps of Corr Hall
    Villanova’s Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors will lead a Campus Climate March in solidarity with the world's poor and vulnerable. As the March makes its way around campus, representatives from Catholic Relief Services will discuss climate issues from scientific, theological and pragmatic angles. The March will make stops at each of the colleges where a representative faculty member will address the intersection of climate change and their field.

Saturday, April 25

  • Earth Day of Service
    8:30 a.m. – noon
    Volunteers will help neighboring communities green and beautify their area. Service sites include Walnut Hill Community Garden, Natural Lands Trust, Broomall Watershed and the Villanova campus.
    In keeping with its Augustinian Catholic tradition—which emphasizes service to, and care for, one’s community—Villanova is committed to environmental sustainability and caring for the earth. 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 2015 Earth Day Celebration is co-sponsored by The Office of the President, The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, The President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, Falvey Memorial Library, Dining Services, the Ethics Program, Villanova Center for Liberal Education, Villanova Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Villanova Center for Global Leadership, Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering, Center for Peace and Justice Education, Maintenance and Grounds, and the departments of Geography and the Environment, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 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 six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies 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.