The University of Southern Mississippi has always been wrapped in black and gold and now is being recognized for a big splash of green which makes it one of the most eco-friendly U.S. colleges and universities and the only such recognized school in Mississippi.
The Princeton Review’s 286 Green Colleges considers Southern Miss one of the most environmentally responsible facilities in the nation. The Princeton Review is considered one of the nation’s top education service and evaluation companies. It gives Southern Miss high marks considering it “gathers all its sustainability efforts under the Southern Miss Green Initiative.” The Princeton Review partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council in highlighting schools with the best programs devoted to sustainability around campus, as well as in the classroom.
“Making the Princeton list shows that everything we have done in the past two years has made a difference,” states Larry Lee, Southern Miss chief sustainability officer. “This recognizes that we are a leader not only in our state, but also across the country. This is a major accomplishment,” he added.
“A culture of sustainability is one of the overarching goals of Southern Miss. I’m pleased to see our efforts recognized,” said Southern Miss President Martha Saunders. She is one of 22 presidents and chancellors who sit on the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) steering committee which is the governing committee for the national campus green commitment. Saunders signed the commitment on Earth Day 2008. That signing was one of the many reasons cited in crowning Southern Miss as one of the nation’s best.
“By signing ACUPCC and creating a formal sustainability committee and office, the Southern Miss Green Initiative is already having significant impact. The Office of Sustainability handles the operational and programming efforts of the initiative and is comprised of the Chief Sustainability Officer and Recycling Program Operator, as well as graduate assistants and practicum students. Together, they oversee all recycling efforts, operational changes, and EcoEagle, the program and educational arm of the office,” stated the Review in announcing its publication.
The soon-to-be-opened Century Park residential complex received high marks for its construction as the first LEED-certified residence hall in the state of Mississippi. The certification recognizes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and is an accreditation registration of the US Green Building Council. Among the other initiatives for which Southern Miss was recognized include the more than 4,000 recycling bins placed in offices, classrooms, and residence halls across campus, as well as the present study of using Green Seal-certified cleaning products and organic grounds maintenance.
For more information on sustainability at Southern Miss visit http://www.usm.edu/green/about.php. For more information on The Princeton Review’s 286 Green Colleges visit http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.
Southern Miss students roll out desk-side recycling bins in 2008. Southern Miss was recognized, in part, for the more than 4,000 recycling bins placed in offices, classrooms, and residence halls across campus.
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 www.usm.edu.