The Committee on Sustainability at the College of William and Mary has awarded the first round of projects for a greener campus.
The projects are funded through the College's new "Green Fee," which was adopted last spring as part of an effort to make William & Mary more environmentally sustainable. The fee is administered by the committee - a group of faculty, staff and students appointed earlier this year by William & Mary President Taylor Reveley as part of a campus-wide green initiative. Initial projects include additional funding for the campus recycling program, seed money for student and faculty research and facility improvements.
"This is a strong beginning and an excellent use of the Green Fee to advance our effort to become more efficient and sustainable in the future," said Lynda Butler, interim dean of the William & Mary Law School and co-chair of the Committee on Sustainability. "In a time of declining resources to accomplish these things, the Green Fee has given us the means to begin a process that will have substantial future benefits for the College and community."
Co-chaired by Butler and Dennis Taylor, professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the committee administers funds generated from the Green Fee. Last year, students overwhelmingly voted in favor of an annual $30 fee to support sustainability projects and research at the College. The administration endorsed the effort and the fee was approved last spring by the William & Mary Board of Visitors. The fee will generate more than $200,000 each year for facility improvements, research and a "Green Endowment."
The projects, Taylor said, "address basic concerns for initiating change to a greener campus environment, and provide a balance among activities of great concern to the student body, projects supported by faculty and involving faculty/student research and facilities support."
- One-time support in the amount of $16,000 for the current campus recycling effort. This will provide time and opportunities to assess the value and efficiencies of the current program through additional student projects and grants conducted independently or as part of course studies.
- Seed money in the amount of $3,000 to support work on solar cell development by Keith Griffioen, professor of physics, and 15 students. The project will place a solar array on the roof of Small Hall for research and development leading to additional grant support.
- $15,000 for installation of occupancy sensors in Swem Library to increase efficiency of energy use, and reduce waste.
- Support for electric metering in the Randolph Complex in the amount of $16,000. This will allow monitoring and comparison with other dormitory facilities and provide opportunities for energy savings, including inter-dormitory competition and student projects to reduce usage and promote cultural change towards sustainable energy use.
- Support in the amount of $3,000 to Randy Chambers, associate professor of biology and director of the Keck Lab, for monitoring stations needed to study storm water runoff on the Williamsburg campus as part of an overall campus modeling and landscape management effort.
In addition to these projects the College will soon deposit an initial $40,000 into the recently established "Green Endowment." Using a variety of mutual funds, the endowment will provide support for alternative energy and other sustainability projects. Over time, income generated from the Green Endowment will provide another source of funding for additional sustainability projects on campus.
"We're off to a strong start," President Reveley said. "William & Mary is going to provide a national model for what can be accomplished by a university with limited financial resources but people of compelling ability and commitment."