Furman University Honored Nationwide for Sustainability Teaching

July 28, 2014

GREENVILLE, SC  – Furman University is featured on a new nationwide list of 100 colleges that do an outstanding job of teaching sustainability and promoting it in their communities.

Furman was included in Teaching Sustainability: 100 Colleges Doing “Green” Right, a list compiled by Best College Rankings.org.  Furman was the only South Carolina school to make the list.

According to the report, the listed schools “not only do a great job of teaching their students sustainable practices, they also work in their communities, and spread information via the web through their sustainability-focused websites.”

The report includes that Furman “works around the clock to find new ways to incorporate sustainability into the campus and students’ lives.” It also recognized the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, established in 2008 and named for the university’s 10th president, for its efforts to promote interdisciplinary teaching, service, research and community partnerships.

Opportunities to study sustainability at Furman range from a general education requirement to interdisciplinary minors (such as environmental studies and poverty studies) to sustainability concepts infused across the curriculum.

Furman has a first-of-its kind major in sustainability science (and the only one of its type in the United States), which is offered through the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainability science.  It is Furman’s fastest-growing major since it was introduced in the fall of 2010.

The university is also noted for promoting sustainability practices and programs throughout the Greenville community.  The Center for Sustainability coordinates applied research initiatives about food and farming, assessing community sustainability, and conservation cultures in the Carolinas.

The Community Conservation Corps offers free weatherization assistance for homeowners in underserved neighborhoods; its mission is to reduce energy consumption and promote the financial stability of local homeowners through energy conservation and education.

“Collaborative contributions and partnerships on our campus and in our greater community have provided innovative and distinctive opportunities for students to study sustainability and contribute to their communities in deeply meaningful ways,” said Angela Halfacre, Professor of Political Science and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Furman and director of the Center for Sustainability.  “This is exactly what our Board of Trustees had hoped would be the outcome of so many diverse and wide-sweeping efforts to promote and better understand what it means to be sustainable.”