Troy University is one of only four colleges or universities nationally to be recognized as a Green Ribbon School, Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee by the U.S. Department of Education.
TROY was the only institution in Alabama to receive the recognition, which honors innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
Earlier this year, TROY earned a spot on the Alabama State Department of Education’s list of Green Ribbon Schools, bringing with the honor the nomination to be recognized nationally as a Postsecondary Awardee.
“To be recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Education is a testament to Troy University’s commitment to be good stewards of our natural resources and communities where we are located,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “We are proud to support programs and initiatives that will lead to a cleaner, healthier Alabama, now and into the future, and we are pleased to be recognized not only as a leader in our own state but also nationally.”
TROY was recognized for a number of “green” initiatives on campus, including the construction of Janice Hawkins Cultural Arts Park, which involved stream restoration and invasive species removal in partnership with the Choctawhatchee-Pea and Yellow River Watershed Management Authority, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the Daniel Foundation. The University will also lead the way in researching plastic recycling thanks to a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology that will establish the Center for Materials and Manufacturing Science.
TROY’s commitment to sustainability and wellness also extends to the surrounding community through programs designed to educate and increase awareness. The University partners with several area schools to promote camps including the “Pike County Groundwater Festival,” “Achilles Kids,” and “Power Up with STEM.”
“I want to congratulate this year’s U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School honorees,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “They have truly embraced the challenge to create healthy, safe, sustainable and efficient learning environments for students, faculty and staff. Their innovative approaches to learning will help students prepare for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century.”
Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric G. Mackey said TROY served as a model for being good stewards of the environment and bringing awareness to the importance of sustainability and health and wellness.
“As educators, we are expected to be good stewards of minds. As global residents, we are duty-bound to be good stewards of the environment,” Mackey said. “Troy University has masterfully designed an innovative balance between the two, and serves as a model for others who seek to lessen the carbon footprint of institutions of higher learning.”
TROY was nominated for the state award by a faculty/staff team including Shirley Farrell, Jonathan Cellon, Lauren Cochran, Hal Fulmer, Kelsey Howe, Mark Salmon, Shane Tatum and Herb Reeves.