The greater Albion community enjoyed a sunny and tasty introduction to Albion College's 2013-2014 Year of Sustainability with the College Farmers' Market on Thursday, August 29. Held on Hannah Street between East Cass and East Erie streets, local vendors offered a variety of fresh produce, meats, honey, and non-food goods and crafts.
It’s about the food we eat.
The water we drink.
The shelter we live in.
The energy we use.
The footprint we leave.
And the future we build.
For the 2013-2014 academic-year, Albion College focuses its collective attention on sustainability as part of an interdisciplinary education that is designed for those who will be engaged in solving today’s and tomorrow’s social, environmental and economic challenges.
Each month of the 2013-2014 Sustainability Theme Year will feature events, speakers, films, service opportunities and a monthly discussion where interested students, faculty, staff and community members can reflect on a particular issue.
But sustainability at Albion College is more than a theme; it is an institutional priority. Throughout the year and beyond we'll learn together, reflect together, and act together to make decisions in our daily lives, on our campus, and in our community that ignite and sustain a passion for a healthy, diverse and sustainable world.
After five months of extensive renovations, Baldwin Hall's lower level—Albion College's main dining facility—welcomed faculty and staff for a noon-hour lunch Aug. 14 in what amounted to a full dress rehearsal 10 days before most students arrive. "This has been a tremendous team effort to put all this together—from employees to contractors to architects," Interim President Mike Frandsen said.
As Albion College prepares for its 2013-2014 Year of Sustainability, the Facilities Operations division continues to launch initiatives to make the campus as green as possible. Among the improvements: changing building up-lights to LEDs, updating mowers to run on propane fuel, and using liquid fertilizer for more precise application.
Albion College and its French partner, the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), are taking a global approach to sustainability in more ways than one. The two institutions have recently signed an agreement to implement two new programs for Albion students that will involve them in sustainability studies on both institutions' campuses.
Students may choose either an undergraduate major in sustainability studies or a one-year postgraduate course of study based at UVSQ culminating in a certificate of sustainability studies which is equivalent to completing the first year of a master's program. The programs will provide a worldwide perspective on key environmental problems and solutions and will prepare students to advance sustainable lifestyles on a broad scale.
"This new program with UVSQ builds on the good work that Albion College has already been doing through its Center for Sustainability and the Environment," said Albion President Donna Randall. "We have much to learn from our European counterparts about incorporating sustainability into everyday life, and this international partnership will enable our students to see best practices in action and bring those practices back home to the United States."