As a community of students and scholars, we are in the business of thoughtful engagement with the world around us. As a community of citizens—increasingly "global citizens"—we know that we all hold responsibility for the world around us, both cultural and ecological. So what does it mean to engage with the world thoughtfully? Surely it begins with understanding how "the world" works? Every discipline on campus has some business with that answer, and every human being on the planet, too.
Our vision for the future, articulated in the Centennial Plan, identifies "Stewardship and Sustainability" as one of four key values. "Stewardship," the plan observes, "is the value that prompts us to safeguard the things that matter most" (6). Chancellor Levin-Stankevich's signing of the AAC&U's Presidents' Climate Commitment speaks to his sense of what matters most, to his view of the responsibility that institutions of higher learning have to the rest of society, and also to his recognition that this community already had shown interest in contributing to a sustainable future. You can get a sense of what the campus was like around that time by reading the fall 2008 article "The Greening of the Blue and Gold" which appeared in The View.
From energy conservation to the search for a clean commute, from curricular and research interests across the disciplines to the pursuit of local food in our dining halls, the work of sustainability initiatives happens all over campus. Increasingly the work is accomplished by groups comprising members from across the campus community--students, staff, faculty, administration--with a shared goal of making our campus more sustainable for ourselves and for future generations of Blugolds!