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GSU receives acclaim as eco-friendly campus

POSTED: June 13, 2011 5:37 p.m.

Georgia Southern University’s growing national reputation received an eco-boost from The Princeton Review with the recent release of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.” Georgia Southern joins a select list of colleges and universities that have been recognized in the 2011 annual ranking.

This marks the first time that Georgia Southern, whose park-like campus is located in Statesboro, has been named to the prestigious list.

The survey asks colleges and universities about their sustainability-related policies, practices and programs.  The 311 schools featured in the guide received scores of 80 or above.

“This is a major accomplishment and recognition for Georgia Southern University,” said Dr. Lissa Leege, Georgia Southern University’s Center for Sustainability Director. “To be recognized in The Princeton Review’s annual ranking is a solid endorsement of the University’s efforts to promote sustainability in practice as well as in our scholarship, education and outreach.”

“College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing at The Princeton Review. “Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey,’ nearly seven out of 10 (69%) said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school,” he added.

Georgia Southern has increased its focus on the environment and sustainability in recent years.  Today, the growing university, which expects to eclipse 20,000 students this fall, requires every graduate to take an environmental science course.

In addition, Georgia Southern offers a unique interdisciplinary concentration in environmental sustainability. Campus-wide programs including “No Impact Week” and sustainability action projects provide students opportunities to improve campus and personal sustainability.

A new water reuse system will soon provide 40-50 percent of campus irrigation from reclaimed water rather than from the potable water of the Floridian aquifer: a critical move for water conservation under drought conditions.

The publication specifically recognizes Georgia Southern’s Renewable Energy Laboratory with providing students the opportunity to conduct real-world research while pursuing their undergraduate degree. The unique lab offers students the chance to participate in applied research on energy initiatives such as converting Georgia-grown agricultural products into marketable fuel.

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