On Friday afternoon, Eldridge Commons was transformed into a lively space for interaction and community-building, as the College hosted its first Sustainability Summit.
Hosted by the Office of Sustainability, the inaugural summit drew a crowd of more than 200 individuals, including students, staff, faculty, and local community members. The summit featured tabling by environmental student and community groups, interactive exhibits, poster presentations, and break-out sessions for attendees to share ideas for the future and to assess current sustainability efforts on campus. Additionally, speakers, including President Valerie Smith, addressed the audience with updates on the College's ongoing sustainability projects. The summit closed with presentations from 18 campus and community members which showcased the diversity of activities to improve sustainability already underway.
Director of Sustainability Aurora Winslade found the personal connections made through networking and the break-out sessions particularly inspiring. "It really made my day when a staff member from development made a commitment to support another staff member in biking to campus, and they made a plan to travel together in the mornings," she says. "Many connections were made, ideas were generated, and it is clear that the enthusiasm for sustainability continues to grow."
"We're looking forward to hosting this event again in subsequent years," adds Sustainability Coordinator Melissa Tier '14. "There was an exciting energy throughout the day and attendees were able to learn from each other directly about ongoing sustainability initiatives in the community."