Goodall Enviromental Studies Center

The Goodall Environmental Studies Center is the hub of activities for the Environmental Studies program. The center overlooks the Lawson’s Fork of the Pacolet River at the historic textile mill community of Glendale. From the vantage point of this restored mill building, students have on-the-ground, real-time interactions with the natural and cultural issues they read about in the classroom.

Milliken Sustainability Initiative

The Milliken Sustainability Initiative, announced in 2015, is an innovative program that connects Wofford with both Northside and Glendale community partners through collaborative exploration of community and environmental sustainability.

The Milliken Sustainability Initiative at Wofford College, which also is fueling student social entrepreneurs and their business ideas as well as community-based coursework and research in the Northside and Glendale communities, is powered by a $4.25 million grant from the Romill Foundation. Romill is the personal foundation of the late Roger Milliken, a dedicated champion of Wofford and the Upstate. Milliken was the longest-serving trustee on Wofford’s Board of Trustees and was a major benefactor of the college, overseeing growth and strategic planning for the college as well as its arboretum, named in his honor.

In the Northside, an historic neighborhood near Wofford, a new residence hall will be linked to a common educational experience for resident students focused on community sustainability. A resident director will live with these students and work with Northside community partners – who have ongoing public-private partnerships to redevelop the area – to develop programming that will benefit the community and expand student-learning opportunities.

Resident students will enroll in two courses in the fall with a new faculty expert in community sustainability and a practicum in the spring – a semester-long independent experience that includes an internship with a partner organization such as the Butterfly Foundation, the Urban Farm or the Early Childhood Development Center.

In Glendale, the Milliken Sustainability Initiative allows students to spend two days a week taking on-site linked courses. “Both communities, along with the Wofford campus, will be tied together by a common goal of sustainability,” said Dr. Kaye Savage, professor and director of the environmental studies program at Wofford. “The Glendale community already has a strong Wofford and environmental tie in our Goodall Environmental Studies Center, which sits on the banks of the Lawson’s Fork on the site of the old Glendale Mill. Glendale welcomed Wofford years ago, and the Wofford and Glendale communities continue to find ways to work together for the greater good.”

Savage noted that the Milliken Sustainability Initiative will provide Wofford students “so much more than academic, environmental and human immersion in the Northside and Glendale communities; it will be the start of a community-based research program that will involve faculty, staff and students across the curriculum. This research will bring together local community members with national and international experts in the field to discuss and seek solutions to environmental and human sustainability issues facing our community.”

As part of the program, Wofford also will create an energy metering and monitoring infrastructure on its campus and will strengthen sustainability efforts under way at the Goodall Environmental Studies Center.

A robust energy monitoring system for buildings on campus will be coupled with the addition of an energy manager to the college’s staff. Half of the monetary savings realized in the energy-saving program will flow into the student innovation fund, with the remainder going to implement future energy reduction projects based on data gathered from the metering.

Community Sustainability Seminar

The Community Sustainability Seminar is an anthropology course in which a decolonial ethnographic methodology frames our approach to community-based work. We will learn about, from and with the Spartanburg community through course readings, films, discussions, guest speakers, participant observation in city events and service-learning at a series of community-based organizations. We will consider the social, environmental and economic histories and contemporary realities across the city’s landscape, which will invite us to think through what sustainability means and looks like across Spartanburg’s neighborhoods. Community-based learning through ethnographic field methods will position us to learn about the ways community, change, equity and sustainability are envisioned by city residents as well as by local organizations.