Kai Degner, Harrisonburg City Councilman
Dr. Loren Swartzendruber, emu President
Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, emu Sustainability Coordinator
Lisa Schirch, PhD, Director of Human Security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding and emu professor in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding
Tony Smith, PhD, President and CEO, Secure Futures, LLC and associate professor of business & economics and MBA at emu
Jim Yoder, PhD, emu professor of biology and advisor to environmental sustainability students
Tuesday, April 22
11:00 a.m. – Panel discussion
12:00 p.m. – Tour of campus solar array and sustainability features such as campus gardens and composting, edible landscaping, cistern for campus landscaping, and more.
Interviews available upon request.
WHY: This Earth Day, April 22, Eastern Mennonite University leaders will discuss the green design technology the university has undertaken – including campus gardens and a solar array – and the environmental stewardship at the heart of their shared faith and the University’s mission. Panelists will discuss how sustainable development promotes security and economic opportunity in the Commonwealth, as well as their shared sense of responsibility to protect God’s creation that has driven their efforts.
About Sustainability at EMU
emu became home to the first and largest commercial scale solar array in the state of Virginia in 2010. This large-scale renewable energy project established the first solar power-purchase agreement in Dominion Virginia Power’s service territory, and spurred a trailblazing local ordinance exempting solar equipment from local taxes, both planting the seeds for state legislation to facilitate further solar development.
In March, emu earned the “Silver” STARS ranking from AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) for efforts in the areas of curriculum, engagement, and research, as well as operations and planning. This honor is granted to universities around the world that make outstanding achievements in advancing “human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.” The award reflects the school’s pioneering vision and clean energy initiatives that have put emu on the front lines of the shifting energy paradigm in the Commonwealth.