Delaware State University’s dedicated effort to establish sound environmental practices on campus was affirmed on June 23 when the institution received the Second Nature Climate Leadership Award from the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
DSU President Harry L. Williams (r) receives the Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards on behalf of the University from Dr. Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature.
Presented to DSU President Harry L. Williams at the 5th annual Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the award – which was in the Master’s Colleges and University category – recognizes DSU for the work it has done since it committed to be part of the ACUPCC in 2009.
Vita Pickrum, Associate Vice President for Development, Dr. Bradley Skelcher, Associate Provost, and Dr. Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature. DSU was the only HBCU invited to participate in the ACUPCC Regional Symposium in Boston, Nov. 2011.
The University’s Go Green Sustainability Committee – led by Vita Pickrum, associate vice president of Development, and a steering committee of University vice presidents and deans – has mushroomed into seven subcommittees that include more than 80 active members from the University’s business and administration personnel, as well as students, faculty and staff from all walks of DSU academic life.
In addition to accessing a diverse group of intellectual resources from among its employees, DSU’s Go Green initiative has also engaged students in the effort through the creation of a Green Ambassador organization. This student organization continues to be an active participant in the Go Green planning, related events coordination and spearheading the education effort among their student peers on campus.
On April 20, 2011, Delaware State University held a daylong celebration in recognition of Earth Day and the turnout of faculty, staff, students and the community exemplified the University’s enthusiasm and efforts toward climate neutrality and sustainability that extends far beyond one celebrated day of the year. As part of the festivities, DSU art students developed a mini-exhibition entitled “Found Objects,” which used objects that had been left to go to the local landfill and were creatively converted into art sculptures.
As a historically black university, the environmental marshalling of its DSU members has led the way among other HBCUs and resulted in Ms. Pickrum being invited to the Dec. 3 United Nations 16th Conference of Parties in Cancun, Mexico, where she gave a presentation on DSU’s Go Green Initiative. In addition, DSU’s environmental efforts were recognized nationally during the 2010-2011 academic year in publications of the ACUPCC, United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine and Black College Today.
During the second day of the June 21-22 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit, Amir Mohammadi, DSU vice president of Business & Administration, was a panel participate in a work session in which he shared how DSU has financed its sustainability projects.