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Where Innovation Is Tradition

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Mason Creates $100,000 Patriot Green Fund

Aug. 30, 2011

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FAIRFAX, Va.,–George Mason University recently announced the creation of the Patriot Green Fund, an initiative designed to help support the development of student-driven sustainability-related projects and research.

An initial investment of $100,000 has been set aside by the university to support this initiative. The Patriot Green Fund will be administered by Mason’s Office of Sustainability and directed by a committee comprised of students, faculty and staff, with the majority of the membership being students.

“This represents an unprecedented opportunity for students to make a viable and direct impact on sustainability at George Mason University,” says Lenna Storm, university sustainability manager. “It showcases the commitment by the administration to move Mason’s campuses and surrounding communities toward sustainability and climate neutrality, as well as encourages students to get more directly involved in the process.”

Storm notes the university agreed to establish the Patriot Green Fund as a direct result of recommendations from many environmentally-minded students.

The Patriot Green Fund represents yet another milestone in a series of initiatives to help Mason achieve the goal of becoming  climate neutral. In 2007, Mason President Alan Merten set the institution on this path by signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. That same year, it established an office of sustainability and began incorporating the topic of sustainability into its academic curriculum.

Other initiatives include:

·   Entering into a Siemens Building Technologies Energy Savings Performance  Contract, saving the university a minimum of $2.3 million in annual energy costs

·   Establishing several academic majors and minors relating to energy and sustainability

·   Partnering with the Smithsonian Institution to provide students with the opportunity to live and study at the zoo’s 3,200 acre conservation and research center in Front Royal, Va.

·   Providing members of the campus community with many non-automobile transportation options

·   Building Southside Dining Hall, which is 96 percent waste-free because of composting, trayless dining and aggressive recycling

·   Expanding the number of sustainability-related courses available to students

·   Ensuring that all future construction projects will be at least LEED Silver-certified

For more information about Mason’s overall sustainability efforts, go to green.gmu.edu or sustainabilitystudies.gmu.edu.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition. 

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