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‘Green’ mayor Will Wynn to speak on ‘Sustainable Cities’

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2010-10-26

Former Austin mayor to speak Thursday in Santee Cooper Series

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – One of the country’s most “green” mayors, Will Wynn, former two-term mayor of Austin, Texas, will be the featured speaker at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, for the Santee Cooper Lecture Series at Wofford College.

Wynn will speak on “Sustainable Cities.” The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.

Wynn served two terms as mayor of Austin, after having served on the city council. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in environmental design, he chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Energy Committee and helped to drive national debate on federal energy policy and climate protection. As mayor, he also served as chairman of the board of Austin Energy, now considered by industry experts to be one of the most progressive, environmentally friendly electric utilities in the country. Under his leadership, Austin dramatically expanded both the requirements and market penetration of its green building program; nationally promoted plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; created the country’s most aggressive solar rebate programs pushed for substantial upgrades to the International Energy Conservation Code; and created a citywide climate protection program, seen by environmentalists as “the country’s most aggressive municipal initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gases,” according to Newsweek magazine. President Obama has called Wynn “a national leader on energy policy.”

Wofford and Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility, began the Santee Cooper Lecture Series in 2009 to provide the college and the Spartanburg community with “a powerful forum for meetings and discussions with some of the leading thinkers in the world on the issues of energy and sustainability,” according to John Lane, director of the Wofford’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center in Glendale, S.C., and an associate professor of English. The series is being hosted by the college’s Environmental Studies Program.

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