For Immediate Release
GCU President Makes “Climate Neutral” Campus Commitment
President Rosemary E. Jeffries Joins Growing List of Higher Education Leaders Fighting Global Warming
Lakewood, N.J., Nov. 1, 2007—Georgian Court University President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., committed this week to sharply reducing and eventually eliminating all of the university’s global warming emissions, and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.
The pledge came with President Jeffries’ October 22nd signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining the leaders of more than 300 institutions across the country.
“The decision to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment was an easy one, as the goals of the commitment line up perfectly with the Sisters of Mercy core values,” says President Jeffries. “Our guiding principles of respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service are all addressed in some way through this initiative.”
“As educators, we have a responsibility to not just teach our students about protecting this gift we call Earth, but to be an example to our students, our community, and the nation,” she adds.
President Jeffries explains the importance of the program and its potential effect on future generations.
“Global warming is a defining challenge of our time,” she says. “Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together, humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Georgian Court is committed to leading the way.”
President Jeffries and her team will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move towards climate neutrality, which means eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions.
“Setting a long-term goal of climate neutrality—not just a reduction in emissions, but a movement toward no net emissions at all—is very much in keeping with the tradition of academic leadership, and supports our core value of respect for all life as gifts of God,” she adds.
The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality—not just a reduction—as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, and other collective efforts by states and businesses.
“Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. “On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome President Jeffries to the commitment; we are honored and pleased to have her join us.”
For more information about Georgian Court University’s Climate Commitment measures, contact Deborah Gilleran, director of public information and university communications, at 732.987.2266.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS CLIMATE COMMITMENT
The ACUPCC is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the ACUPCC is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica. Learn more at www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.
# # #