VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University will celebrate Earth Week 2022 with an impressive lineup of events, lectures, and community service. Organized in part by Villanova’s Earth Day Committee led by Nathaniel B. Weston, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, the week kicks off on April 19 and runs through April 24. Highlights of the week include a keynote address by Nicky Sheats, PhD, MPP, Esq. as well as the annual Sustainability Fair on April 21, and Villanova’s Earth Day of Service on April 24.
The full event lineup is as follows:
Tuesday, April 19
Guest Lecture: "Polar Voyaging and the Humanities"
Wednesday, April 20
Campus Sustainability Tour
Thursday, April 21
Sustainability Fair and Farmers Market
Keynote Address “Protecting Environmental Justice Communities” by Nicky Sheats, Ph.D, MPP, Esq., Director of the Center for the Urban Environment at the John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research at Kean University and Member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council
Taizé Prayer Service
Quizzo: Earth Day Edition
Friday, April 22
Earth Day Themed Food Truck Friday
Defending the Land: Socio-Environmental Conflicts in the Americas (two day virtual and in-person conference)
Sunday, April 24
Earth Day of Service
Liesel Schwarz, LEED AP O+M, Sustainability Manager, is excited to bring everyone back together to celebrate and learn as a community. “We have tried to keep up Earth Week traditions during COVID and while I think we did a great job it just wasn’t the same. I am really looking forward to bringing that experience back to campus, especially since so many of our students have not yet experienced a true Villanova Earth Week celebration.”
And students are excited for the sustainability initiatives as well. “They are always asking me for more. They want to see change. They also want to engage with the university and be a part of the change making process. Earth Week is a great learning opportunity for students,” says Schwarz.
Weston agrees. “Villanova students are very interested in and passionate about sustainability. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences started a Sustainability Studies minor several years ago, which is open to all undergraduate students across campus. The Earth Week activities are very well attended and students do important work throughout the year to make Villanova a more sustainable campus.”
In addition, the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova pledged to commit to Laudato Si’, a united response to the concern of the Church as expressed by Pope Francis. As a signatory, Villanova commits to promoting education, reflection, and action to care for our common home through sustainable solutions that foster integral human development by combating hunger and poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and protecting nature.
About Villanova University’s Commitment to Sustainability
In 2007, Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Further advancing the University’s pledge to sustainability, he then established the sustainable leadership council. The council is composed of faculty, staff, and students from across the University and is charged with taking action in all aspects of campus sustainability. Since then, Villanova has expanded its sustainability efforts to include the launch of its master’s degree programs in Environmental Science and Sustainable Engineering.
In addition, the University has nine LEED-certified buildings on campus and has committed to LEED certification for all new construction and major renovation projects going forward. In April 2014, Father Donohue signed the St. Francis Pledge, to “protect God's Creation and advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face the hardest impacts of global climate change.”
Villanova continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges, having received national recognition for its commitment to sustainability by a number of organizations including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Villanova recycles and composts up to 48 percent (22 percent of consumer waste) of its waste. The University has installed over 90 hydration stations on campus to make it more convenient to fill up reusable water bottles. In 2016, Villanova received a Tree Campus Higher Education recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to promote healthy trees and engage students and staff in the spirit of conservation. Through Unitas, Veritas, and Caritas, Villanova’s approach to sustainability emphasizes social justice and community service. The University continues to incorporate its commitment to the environment into its community service initiatives.
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 M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.