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Dean of green: W&M selects 1st sustainability director

  • Calandra Waters Lake
    Calandra Waters Lake
    W&M's new director of sustainability will responsible for promoting the sustainability goals of the College, exploring fundraising opportunities and coordinating sustainability activities across campus.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

Sustainability at William & Mary takes another step forward this year, with Calandra Waters Lake’s appointment as the university's first director of sustainability. 

This new full-time position replaces the temporary position of sustainability fellow and will report jointly to the Committee on Sustainability (COS) and the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI).

Jim Golden, who will retire as vice president for strategic initiatives in August, praised the creation of the new position and its placement in OSI.

“Sustainability is a strategic priority at William & Mary, but until now it did not have an appropriate institutional home,” he said.  “Now, it will receive the support it deserves, and Calandra Lake is the perfect person to coordinate our efforts across the university.”

Lake will be running the College’s sustainability programs and related activities under the supervision of Lynda Butler, co-chair of the COS and Chancellor Professor of Law; Dennis Taylor, co-chair of the COS and professor emeritus; and Henry Broaddus, the current dean of admission and associate provost for enrollment at William & Mary, who will take Golden’s place.

Broaddus has had a long-standing commitment to sustainability. He was a gubernatorial appointee to the Virginia Scenic Rivers Advisory Board from 2003 to 2012 and has been a board member of the Virginia Conservation Network since 2006. 

Lake will be responsible for promoting the sustainability goals of the College, exploring fundraising opportunities and coordinating sustainability activities across campus between students, faculty, staff and the local community. Lake will also be organizing and monitoring distribution of the Green Fees, a fund all students contribute toward that supports grants awarded each semester to student, faculty, and staff sustainability projects.

“We are very excited about Calandra’s appointment as director. This is an important step in integrating sustainability into the operations of the College, and she is well qualified to lead the effort,” said Butler.

Lake holds a Bachelor of Science in natural resources from Virginia Polytechnic Institute as well as a Master of Arts in education from William & Mary, which she received in 2008.

She was an intern at Aprovecho in Cottage Grove, Oregon, a sustainability community dedicated to organic gardening, sustainable forestry and appropriate technology, as well as designing and disseminating efficient wood stoves for less-developed economies.  For the past six years, Lake has been teaching Environmental Science and Earth Science at Grafton High School, in York County while working closely with William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) through its GK-12 PERFECT Program. The program brings current science into high school classrooms through graduate students who, in turn, learn valuable public translation skills.

Lake already has strong ties to the College. In addition to her connections to VIMS through her husband’s post-doc position, she volunteered with COS extensively over the past two years, being most active in the Programs & Education Subcommittee projects and working directly with the EcoAmbassador program.

“I could not have asked for a more perfect way to spend my workday than helping William & Mary further its sustainability program,” Lake said. “My goal is to create a more cohesive initiative across all areas of the College as well as reaching out to the local community and helping the College become a hub for sustainability.”