May 11, 2021

UMW Gets Down to Earth With Sustainability Coordinator Position

 UMW, which is listed in the 2021 edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges,” plans to hire a full-time sustainability coordinator by summer.


UMW, which is listed in the 2021 edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges,” plans to hire a full-time sustainability coordinator by summer.

By summer, the University of Mary Washington plans to have its own Sustainability Coordinator. The announcement of the new full-time position by UMW President Troy Paino in last week’s Board of Visitors meeting comes just in time for Earth Day and on the heels of Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order to reduce Virginia’s reliance on single-use plastics.

“UMW has a long tradition of prioritizing sustainability, but it’s time we take that commitment to another level,” Paino said. “We need a dedicated position to develop and implement an ambitious plan that will make UMW a national leader among green campuses.”

The effort has already begun. A “Virginia Green” dining program, paired with academic programs, like the conservation biology, and Earth and environmental science majors, will serve as a launching pad for the sustainability coordinator. So will the recent Climate of Change discussion series, along with recycling, bike-sharing and other existing eco-specific initiatives.

UMW traded plastic straws for paper ones more than two years ago, said Campus Dining Marketing Coordinator Rose Benedict, and the University is listed among the nation’s most environmentally conscious schools in the 2021 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges. Read more.

Ranking Highlights UMW’s Commitment to Sustainability

The University of Mary Washington’s commitment to sustainability has earned it a spot on the The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for 2021.

The University of Mary Washington’s commitment to sustainability has earned it a spot on the The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for 2021.

The University of Mary Washington has earned a spot on a list of the nation’s most environmentally conscious schools. The ranking appears in the 2021 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, which profiled 416 U.S. schools demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, based on student academic offerings and career preparation, as well as campus policies, initiatives and activities.

“We strongly recommend the University of Mary Washington to students who want to study and live at a green college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief.

In the last decade, the publication has seen a tremendous increase in interest in green practices, programs and offerings from prospective students and their parents, Franek noted. Two-thirds of teens and their families said they’d weigh a college’s commitment to the environment in their decision to apply to or attend a school, according to a survey by The Princeton Review of nearly 13,000 participants.

In 2009, UMW created the President’s Council on Sustainability to inform and advise the University’s leadership on how to manage resources to meet the present needs of the campus community while also reducing its environmental impact for future generations of Eagles.

Mary Washington has since undertaken many green initiatives, including participating in the international RecycleMania competition, hosting an annual Earth Day celebration and holding a “Summer Shred” event to dispose of old documents in a sustainable manner. UMW also works with local non-profit groups like Tree Fredericksburg to help replant trees in the city, and was recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2017 Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management. And the efforts don’t stop there. Read more.