‘Sustainability’ Forum for Science Center Set for Jan. 22

How “green” should EMU be?

That’s the question EMU students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests will tackle at a forum Jan. 22, beginning at 8:45 a.m. in the Suter Science Center that is open to the community. Read more about the event…

The university is hosting the morning-long event to foster a sense of ownership and excitement in plans to renovate the existing science center and create a sustainable learning environment. The “how green?” question invites people to dream about innovation and how sustainable building fits with EMU’s core vision and mission.

“There’s no doubt EMU is committed to building green,” said President Loren Swartzendruber about the upcoming event, noting that EMU is well-known for its energy-efficient buildings.

The school’s historical commitment to sustainable building is well documented, he noted. “Now that we are in the planning phase of a significant building project, we are considering how to mesh our values and dreams with the realities of appropriate funding goals and a booming new field in green technologies,” the president stated.

The forum will include input on Anabaptist theology and sustainability by retired sociologist Dr. Calvin Redekop; a summary of EMU’s track record on sustainability by Eldon Kurtz, director of EMU facilities; an overview of green design and building with Bill Barnard, LEED-AP certified architect with the Troyer Group. The event will also include discussion on EMU’s principles of sustainability.

Current students who are part of a new “green design” class this semester at EMU will also participate. They will gather ideas at the forum to research throughout the coming semester.

Planners hope that a building project that has the backing of the campus and broader community will:

  • Model the community’s theological commitment to creation care and God’s mandate in Micah 6:8 to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”
  • Serve the university well from a pedagogical perspective.
  • Attract students and faculty who share EMU’s core values.
  • Showcase the university’s creativity, innovation and motivation.

The forum will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon, Tuesday Jan. 22, 2008. It is free and open to all.

The event is sponsored by the university’s Creation Care Council. See more at www.emu.edu/begreen. Email questions to begreen@emu.edu or phone 432-4348.