Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Wofford among nation's 'eco-friendly' colleges

Glendale sampling

Included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College is one of five South Carolina colleges and universities listed in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges, released this week. An accompanying article appears in USA Today’s April 20 edition.

Selected colleges excel in: providing students a healthy, sustainable quality of life; preparing students for green jobs and responsible green citizenship; and using environmentally responsible school policies.

The guidebook notes that Wofford’s Office of Community Sustainability was established to “mitigate any negative impact of institutional choices that may harm communities near and far.”

The office “is working to integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of campus life. The college has launched a Sustainable Living Initiative, which targets residence halls and other areas of student life.”

The publication notes the college’s series of community forums on sustainability, “designed to foster a sense of stakeholdership in the future of Wofford’s sustainability initiative(s).”

Wofford also has developed its interdisciplinary environmental studies program to facilitate initiatives on and off campus, and the book notes the renovation and retrofitting of an old mill office building at Glendale, S.C., into the Goodall Environmental Studies Center. The center was to be dedicated today (Tuesday, April 20). It’s LEED-certified status is pending, and the building will be the college’s first LEED project.

Wofford also has partnered with Santee Cooper, the state’s largest public utility, to create the Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Sustainability and Energy.

The other South Carolina institutions are Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, Furman University, and the University of South Carolina Columbia campus.

The Princeton Review added a “green question” to its surveys of students and parents in 2008, according to publisher Rob Franek. The company found that 63 percent of the 10,300 high school-age college applicants and parents surveyed said they would find information about a college’s dedication to the environment useful in their college selection process. In 2009, it was 66 percent.

The result was The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges, a 200-page guidebook that is being offered in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and is available free online. It is supported by ads from colleges that appear in the book and funding from the Green Building Council.

The colleges profiled all received “Green Ratings” in the 80s or 90s, on a scale from 60-99, based on Princeton Review surveys of administrators at 697 colleges.

Students today are “sustainability natives” who instinctively make greener choices, says Rachel Gutter, director for the Center for Green Schools at the Green Building Council. They realize the environmental problems they are inheriting and feel empowered to make a change, she says.

See the full report here:

See the USA Today article here: