Meredith Receives Grant to Support Sustainability

A gift of more than $380,000 from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will support environmental sustainability programs at Meredith College.

Over a three-year period, this gift from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help support new and existing programs at Meredith in environmental sustainability, including research opportunities for students and faculty, campus lectures, the campus' Three Sisters Garden and edible landscape, new sustainability curriculum, and support for making major campus events more environmentally friendly.

During the 2010-11 academic year, Meredith College became one of the first colleges in North Carolina to launch an interdisciplinary major focused on environmental sustainability. Meredith's environmental sustainability major/minor is focused on three foundations: natural and mathematical sciences, social sciences, and economics and communication. The flexible nature of the environmental sustainability major at Meredith College allows students to tailor a program that fits their professional interests. Students take liberal arts courses, such as environmental ethics, economics and politics, in addition to science and math classes and also participate in a research or internship experience.

In addition to the environmental sustainability major, Meredith faculty have infused sustainability topics in courses from a variety of disciplines, including art, child development, interior design, religious and ethical studies and biological sciences. The Margaret A. Cargill gift will allow Meredith to expand these offerings.

An earlier grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation supported, and will continue to support through 2014, sustainability curriculum workshops for Meredith faculty, and student research on campus and in Costa Rica. Both grants are coordinated by the Sustainability Learning and Teaching Circle, a faculty and staff group open to the Meredith community, and directed by Erin Lindquist, assistant professor in the biological sciences.

Sustainability at Meredith
Meredith’s expansion of academic programming in sustainability is the latest example of the College's commitment to environmental efforts. In 2008, Meredith's first sustainability coordinator was hired. The College's Greenprint plan for integrating sustainability into its practices in education and daily operations was developed in 2009. 

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