College Receives Grant to Aid Environmental Effort
Emory & Henry College and Hollins University will receive $200,000 over the next three years from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to collaborate on an energy conservation project that will foster a culture of sustainability on both campuses.
“This is an opportunity for both institutions to significantly strengthen our energy conservation and environmental efforts,” said Emory & Henry President Rosalind Reichard. “This collaboration will aid in reducing our institutions’ carbon footprints and help us move forward in meeting the objectives set forth in the American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment – an initiative of which both Hollins and Emory & Henry are members.”
“Our mutual goal is to encourage students, faculty, administrators and staff at each institution to become more conscious of the choices they make regarding energy use and the consequences of those choices,” added Hollins University President Nancy Gray. “We anticipate that members of each campus community will benefit from changes in attitude and behavior and will continue to support energy conservation as a way of life.”
A key component of the project will be the hiring of a shared energy manager by July 1. The manager, who ideally will have a background in mechanical engineering, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of energy consumption on each campus, identify strategies to further decrease energy use, develop and implement energy policies for each institution, and enhance educational activities to promote energy conservation by members of each campus community.
Officials from both schools believe the smaller infrastructures of their campuses, compared to larger institutions, will make it possible for the energy manager to serve both campuses effectively. “The proximity of our campuses and the common efforts we have pursued in providing energy efficiency at our institutions will add to the viability of this project, which may eventually serve as a model for other small, liberal arts colleges,” Reichard said.
Both Emory & Henry and Hollins have taken numerous measures already to reduce energy use.
Emory & Henry has attained LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in the renovation of two buildings and in the construction of a new residence hall, Elm Hall. All buildings, which were constructed with local products and recycled materials, are equipped with a variety of energy-saving features. In addition, water use reduction and storm water management were built into the design.
The College also has converted all indoor and outdoor lighting to energy efficient bulbs and installed a solar hot water system in one residence hall. As of 2007, Emory & Henry began installing “Energy Star” appliances in all buildings and regularly encourages students as well as members of the faculty and staff to adhere to energy efficient practices.
Administrators and faculty members from Hollins and Emory & Henry began discussing a partnership after they attended a duPont-sponsored energy conference held in Richmond in April 2009.
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is a national foundation based in Jacksonville, Florida, that has provided vital assistance to Hollins for decades. Jessie Ball duPont is the niece of James Ball, who attended Emory & Henry in 1959 and 1960. When Ms. duPont died in 1970, the charitable fund was formed from her estate, restricting grants to organizations she funded between Jan. 1, 1960, and Dec. 31, 1964.