Earth Day Lecture, Web Resources Promote Sustainability at Southern Miss
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Contact Tara Burcham - 601.266.5910   

  – The College of Science and Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi is observing Earth Day April 22 by hosting a lecture on sustainability and launching a Web site initiative that same day with resources on the subject.

Matt Williams, project coordinator of the Auburn Sustainability Initiative at Auburn University, will present "What is Sustainability? Southern Perspectives on the Movement that is Reshaping our Campuses and our Future" at 2 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center, Room 208. 

Williams’ lecture will focus on defining sustainability while promoting sustainable practices both on and off campus. He will also provide resources and suggestions to incorporate sustainable practices into everyday work and life.

Earth Day, celebrated every April 22, was founded in 1970 through the efforts of the late U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as a way to draw attention to and find solutions for environmental ravages through education.

The overwhelming response from people to his presentations is that sustainability “just makes good sense,” Williams said.

“Universities like Southern Miss have the potential to really showcase that sustainability is far more than a short-term fad. It's a way of maximizing the benefits for natural systems, economics and people in our region, and the best part is that every one of us can contribute.”

The Auburn Sustainability Initiative works with Auburn University to “green” the campus and make it more eco-friendly while promoting the addition of sustainability issues into the university’s curriculum.

Dr. Rex Gandy, dean of the College of Science and Technology, said it is critically important to discuss the sustainability issue.

"The college is proud to promote responsible stewardship. We exist on a fragile rock coated by a thin layer of atmosphere in a hostile universe. If we do not promote sustainability, there is no guarantee that our species will survive,” said Gandy. “This college initiative fits well with President Martha Saunders’ introduction of sustainability as a university-wide initiative."

The college is also launching a new sustainability initiative on its Web site with resources and information on courses related to sustainability. For more information visit

This is not the first initiative by the College of Science and Technology to promote sustainable use of resources on campus. It continues its aluminum can recycling efforts begun in 2007 at science and technology buildings.

“I applaud the College of Science and Technology for bringing Mr. Williams to campus and encourage attendance at his lecture on April 22. I believe this topic is timely considering the initiatives of University’s Strategic Planning Committee,” said Sid Gonsoulin, associate vice president of Student Affairs at Southern Miss.

For more information on the Auburn Sustainability Initiative, visit

Matt Williams

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at