Austin College Recommits to Campus Sustainability

Austin College Recommits to Campus Sustainability

Sherman Texas | April 21, 2018

Austin College President Steven P. O’Day has formally adopted a new Campus Sustainability Plan that recommits the College to environmental stewardship and resource conservation efforts begun by his predecessors. O’Day became president at Austin College in October 2017.

“Austin College takes environmental stewardship seriously,” President O’Day said. “We look forward to building on a 20-year track record of advances in stewardship and capturing more of the cost savings those improvements generate. This plan ensures that Austin College will continue to be a leader in the campus sustainability movement.”

In 2008, President Oscar Page signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (now the Second Nature Carbon Commitment), a challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2011, President Marjorie Hass reconfirmed that commitment and launched a more comprehensive effort, Austin College Thinking Green, which engaged stakeholders across campus in stewardship efforts. President O’Day’s adoption of a formal sustainability plan demonstrates continued commitment under his leadership; the effort remains dependent upon all members of the campus community contributing to environmental stewardship efforts.

Princeton Review regularly recognizes Austin College’s accomplishments with inclusion in its Guide to Green Colleges. “Since 2008 we have converted to wind-generated electricity and reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent,” said Dr. Peter Schulze, director of the College’s Center for Environmental Studies. “Meanwhile, cumulative energy efficiency improvements across campus since 2004 are now saving us more than $400,000 per year in energy costs.” Additionally, the IDEA Center, the College’s science building completed in 2013, was awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for its leadership in energy and environmental design.

The adoption of the new Campus Sustainability Plan coincided with the beginning of the College’s Green Week, which includes a number of sustainability-focused events and culminates with GreenServe, the College’s annual green service day, held in conjunction with Earth Day weekend each year. Predicted heavy rains on April 21 caused organizers to postpone the service day to April 28this year, hoping for a clear day for students to volunteer at sites like Pottsboro Community Garden, Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Eisenhower State Park, and Binkley Park to assist with various environmental efforts.

GreenServe is just one of the College’s local environmental outreach programs. The College also provides land and support for the Sherman Community Garden and operates a free field trip program for area elementary schools at its Sneed Prairie Environmental Research Area, which hosted its 10,000th child in October 2016.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

Texoma Area ATHENA Award Nominees Announced

Texoma Area ATHENA Award Nominees Announced

SHERMAN, TEXAS

Austin College officials have announced the nominees for the 2018 Athena Leadership Award and Athena Young Professional Leadership Award, with the recipients to be announced April 27 at noon at the College. Tickets for the luncheon celebration at Austin College in Wright Campus Center’s Mabee Hall are available at https://www.picatic.com/athena2018for $25 per person. In addition to the award presentation, the luncheon will include a keynote address by Kate Murphy, senior child welfare policy associate for Texans Care for Children.

This year’s ATHENA Leadership Award honorees are Stephanie Chandler, director of community investment for United Way of Grayson County, Inc.; LuAnn Daniel, founder and chief executive officer for Women Rock Inc.; Deborah Estes, education consultant; and Tonya Price, chief nurse officer for Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center.

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees are Amber Pilcher, banking services manager and regional retail manager for Landmark Bank Denison;  Kristina Quinlan, member services and events director for Sherman Chamber of Commerce; and Melanie Truxal, Main Street coordinator for the City of Denison.

The regional event, which honors women leaders who work or live in Grayson, Fannin, or Cooke counties, is sponsored by the Austin College Center for Community and Regional Development and the College’s Texoma Women Get Connected program, in partnership with United Way of Grayson County. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to individuals who have attained and embody the highest level of professional excellence in their business or profession, devote time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential. ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and clearly serve as role models for young women both personally and professionally.

The luncheon also serves as a final session of the morning’s Nonprofit Symposium, which begins at 8 a.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 254, and will feature information about grant writing, public policy as it pertains to nonprofits organizations, and fiduciary responsibility. The morning events are free and open to the public, but require registration, also athttps://www.picatic.com/athena2018.  

Event sponsors and table sponsors are needed for the event. Sponsorships benefit the College’s Social Entrepreneurship for Poverty Alleviation (SEPA) summer intern program, which partners with local nonprofit organizations. For more information, please contact Trish Jennings at 903.813.2042 or tjennings@austincollege.edu.

The ATHENA Leadership Award Program is administered by ATHENA International, a non-profit women’s leadership organization, along with licensed host organizations and sponsors. Over 6,000 awards have been presented in the U.S. and around the world since the program’s inception in 1982. Recent recipients include Condoleezza Rice, Billie Jean King, Pat Summit, and Gabby Giffords. A list of all known local recipients is included on the Austin College Athena Award website.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change LivesAustin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

Barbara Pierce Bush to Speak at Austin College

Barbara Pierce Bush to Speak at Austin College

SHERMAN, TEXAS | March 31, 2018

Barbara Pierce BushAustin College will host Barbara Pierce Bush, co-founder and board chair of the Global Health Corps, as the 2018 recipient of the Austin College Posey Leadership Award, speaking on “Passion – Energy – Innovation: Mobilizing Young Leaders for Global Change,” on Tuesday, April 3, at 11 a.m. in Wynne Chapel on campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Community sponsors for the Sherman events are Bank of Texas and the Sherman Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO).

The Austin College Posey Leadership Award recognizes Bush’s leadership in creating and leading the Global Health Corps. In 2009, Bush responded to a challenge to young leaders to engage their generation in solving the world’s biggest health challenges. Bound by a belief that health is a human right and that it is up to their generation to build a world where this right is realized, she and the co-founders set out to mobilize a global community to build the movement for health equity. The organization since has sent out more than 1,000 young leaders from more than 40 countries to serve in one-year paid fellowships with nonprofit and government health organizations in nations throughout Africa and in sites in the United States.

A native of Dallas, Bush graduated from Yale University in 2004 with a humanities degree. She has served with Baylor College of Medicine’s International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative Clinics in Africa and with UNICEF in Botswana. Additionally, she worked at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa, and the UN World Food Programme.

In recognition of her innovative work in health equity, Bush has been named to several high-profile lists, including Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business (2015), Forbes Under 30 Summit (2015), Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2014), and Newsweek’s Women of Impact (2013). She was selected as one of six Gerson Lehrman Group Social Impact Fellows in 2016. Ms. Bush also is a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper and a Fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation. She sits on the boards of Covenant House International and the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Bush’s visit continues a strong family legacy with Austin College. George H.W. Bush received an honorary doctoral degree from the college in 1973 and was on campus in 2002-2003 as the college’s Chair of Excellence in International Leadership. Former First Lady of the United States Barbara Bush was the 1998 Commencement speaker, receiving an honorary doctoral degree, and George W. Bush was the 1999 Commencement speaker while he was governor of Texas, also receiving an honorary doctoral degree.

Bush also will speak Wednesday, April 4, at 7:45 p.m. in Dallas at Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The award and $100,000 prize will be presented following her talk in Dallas. Tickets to that event start at $50 and are available at www.austincollege.edu/goforum.

At the Dallas event, Bush’s speech will be followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by communications professional Catherine Cuellar, director of partnerships for RefillWise of Dallas. To close the evening, Austin College president Steven O’Day and Board of Trustees chair David Corrigan will present the award and accompanying check of $100,000 to Bush. She will meet with nearly 500 Dallas-area high school students at Parish Episcopal School in an invitation-only event earlier in the day hosted by the Dallas World Affairs Council’s Global Young Leaders program.

The Austin College Leadership Award was created in March 2008 through the generosity of Sally and Lee Posey, founder of Palm Harbor Homes; the Posey name was added to the award upon Lee Posey’s death in 2008. The award honors outstanding individuals who, through their work, demonstrate principles of servant leadership. Past recipients include Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America; Paul Farmer, noted Harvard physician and humanitarian; Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone; Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of Grameen Bank; Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund; Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy; Nathan Wolfe, epidemiologist and author of the “The Viral Storm”; Shigeru Ban, humanitarian architect and founder of the Voluntary Architects’ Network; co-recipients Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, founders of Half the Sky Movement and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists; and Vikram Patel, psychiatrist and director of international mental health programs.

Dallas-area sponsors for events at the Perot include Lyda Hill; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; David and Emily Corrigan; Mrs. Henry Estess; Stan and Judy Woodward; Drs. John and Anne Andersen; Jim and Anne Hartnett; Brent Christopher; Rebecca and Ron Gafford; Ann Ross; Becky and Larry Sykes; DHD Films; the World Affairs Council of Dallas; Parish Episcopal School; and Perot Museum of Nature & Science. Additional sponsors are Ira and Frances Anderson of Houston and San Angelo physician Fazlur Rahman, M.D. and his wife Jahanara Rahman.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.