WCU’s Electron Garden on the Green, also known as the “EGG,” was the first physical structure funded through a student sustainability fee and carried out by WCU’s Sustainability Energy Initiative. The EGG is a combination solar power generating facility and hammock hanging lounge, fitting in nicely with the 2019-20 campus theme, “Sustainability and the Environment.”

Sustainability is something that affects everyone in some way. During Western Carolina University’s 2019-20 academic year, it will affect WCU students as the new campus learning theme.

“Sustainability and the Environment” was chosen after a survey by the Office of Undergraduate Studies was conducted among faculty, staff and students during the fall 2018 semester. The survey drew more than 430 responses.

Since 2009, WCU has selected an interdisciplinary theme for campus conversations, curricular and co-curricular connections, and enrichment.

“I am excited that ‘Sustainability and the Environment’ has been selected as next year’s campus theme,” Acting Provost Carol Burton said. “(Chair) Jerry Miller and the steering committee will do a fabulous job of overseeing our intellectual discourse and educational opportunities around this topic. It is timely, provocative and engaging; it is one of our areas of distinction, and connects well with our mission and strategic plan.”

Miller, WCU’s Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science, said it’s an exciting topic, while also pointing out that 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

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Originally published Feb. 19, 2019.


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