Heart of the Community Awards

Thank you, Dr. Grimaud. It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of the Webster University community. The many sustainability initiatives Dr. Grimaud mentioned in that wonderful introduction originate from all parts of our university, by people who are drawn to Webster through many different avenues:

  • We have students raising initiatives like recycling, sustainable materials in our dining halls and classroom, and energy efficiency.
  • We have alumni launching the businesses through which some of these initiatives are offered.
  • We have our own facilities managers, engineers and accountants identifying opportunities for innovative ways to conserve resources and show our students the economic benefits.
  • We have our own faculty and students working in partnership to turn what some would see as an afterthought—the MSD-required retention pond—into both a conservation area and a living, breathing environmental science laboratory.
  • Our professors pioneer sustainability in the K-12 curriculum and in globally focused projects like the recent $100,000 Fulbright Award for a sustainability education project in Brazil.
  • We have our trustees endorsing bold moves like building the LEED-gold East Academic Building.

And of course we have our partners within the Webster Groves community, ranging from the business leaders in this chamber to the teachers and leaders in the Webster Groves School District, working hand in hand to leverage opportunities to work more sustainably together for the betterment of us all. The Webster University community teems with people who live and breathe these values, from the executive offices to incoming students.

We are fortunate to have people like our provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer Julian Schuster, and our chief financial officer Greg Gunderson, support these efforts and make them as both an academic and a socially responsible priority. Before she earned her master’s degree and became our sustainability coordinator, as a student Lindsey LaFore, was herself the leader of our student sustainability organization. 

Indeed, sustainability is a core value, a part of our academic curriculum, and a primary lens through which our students, faculty, staff and alumni see our role as responsible stewards in our community. I thank all of you in the Webster Groves community for providing a welcoming environment for these efforts to grow and thrive.

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