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."
Cody Yothers, ’13, and Kaitlyn Pospiech, ’13, are getting their hands dirty learning how to provide locally grown, environmentally sustainable food to the Albion College community through the student farm.
Both students found out that when elements like weather and pests are factored in, things don’t always go as planned. But that experience may be the best educational lesson, says Tim Lincoln, professor and director of Albion College’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment.
Over the summer, Yothers worked with Albion’s student farm as part of his summer research project combining community outreach with community gardening. Pospiech made a deal with Bon Appétit, Albion’s dining service provider, to sell the tomatoes, beans, basil, and broccoli grown on the farm. She also enlisted Albion students to help with harvesting the produce this fall.
A group of five students started the farm during Albion’s Year of Sustainability in 2010.
Environmental Activist Annie Leonard Tells 'The Story of Stuff' for Albion College Calvaruso Lecture
The Western world's consumption of too much "stuff" creates problems on personal and global levels. Activist and researcher Annie Leonard brings the incredible and disturbing "Story of Stuff" to Albion College on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in the College’s Goodrich Chapel. Leonard visits as Albion’s 2011 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote speaker, capping the College’s annual Isaac Student Research Symposium.