Three Vincentian universities continue to move ahead on climate issues.
For DePaul University, sustainability innovation goes hand in hand with one of the school’s major strengths: entrepreneurship.
New graduate programs in environmental-minded business and policy have produced eco-oriented entrepreneurs, while undergraduate programs push students to bring social justice minded sustainability to underserved Chicago neighborhoods. The aim is to produce a robust research based curriculum that can train students to think sustainably inside the classroom and out.
“We like to say that when you’re at Depaul, sustainability has been around since [the 1600s],” said James Montgomery, a professor in DePaul’s environmental sciences and studies department, referring to the lifetime of the school’s patron saint, St. Vincent De Paul.
“He was a businessman and a salesman,” he added. “He took a lot of risks, personal risks, professional risks to help those who at the time were at the margins of society.”
With that in mind, over the last four years DePaul has introduced three new graduate programs inspired by the school’s social justice heritage, that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation with a sustainability focus.
Niagara University has been lauded numerous times for its dedication to sustainability.
It is annually featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges and itsB. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification – Gold Rating from the United States Green Building Council.
In 2012, NU signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which formalizes the university’s plan to eliminate the campus’ net emissions of greenhouse gases. Since one component of the effort is education, NU has incorporated a sustainability unit into its freshman seminar, Niagara University Beginnings. This unit is integrated with the “active reading” unit of the seminar during which students are assigned to read and evaluate selections from Pope Francis’s recent “climate encyclical,” Laudato Si’.
St. John’s Featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: St. John’s University has been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada.