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Milligan planning to implement environmental steps on campus

By CHELSEA FARNAM
Johnson City Press

MILLIGAN COLLEGE (May 17, 2009) — Nestled in the valley of Buffalo Mountain, Milligan College has always been considered a picturesque image of East Tennessee landscape and beauty. To maintain that beauty in a more natural and sustainable manner, the college is implementing a series of environmental initiatives on campus.

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities this spring announced it had granted Milligan $4,750 for what the council calls “Creation Care initiatives.”

“The creation care verbage reflects our commitment as a Christian college to stewardship of God’s earth,” said Bill Greer, Milligan’s vice president for institutional advancement.

Milligan was one of six nationwide recipients, including Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, of Creation Care grants ranging up to $5,000.

The grant will help support the new position of sustainability coordinator who will oversee greenfriendly practices. Joe Whitaker will take up the position in the fall in addition to his current work as vice president for business. “It’s not a new hire, but an assignment of responsibility,” Greer said. The grant also will better facilitate recycling on campus, including the purchase of 16 receptacles, placed on every floor of each dorm, in the student center, the main academic building, the faculty office building and the field house. The Creation Care Committee, composed of Milligan President Don Jeanes and several faculty members and administrators, also will work to raise awareness on campus about the importance of recycling and energy sustainability by providing information in student and faculty handbooks and orientations.

“There are a lot of little things we can do to conserve energy,” said Theresa Garbe, director of alumni relations and member of the Creation Care Committee. For instance, Garbe determined that the campus bookstore releases 4,000 reams — or 2 million sheets — of paper per year. A segment of the grant will fund the partial use of recycled paper on campus, although the specific allotment has yet to be determined.

Milligan recently also announced the donation of funding for the construction of the Gilliam Wellness Center. The facility will be the first building in Carter County certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

LEED standards include such requirements as the use of regional materials, outdoor views and reduction of light pollution. The Wellness Center will, for example, include skylights and solar tubes for energy.

While reducing resources, the college will simultaneously reduce costs. For instance, in the fall of 2008, the college committed to going “trayless” in the cafeteria. According to Pioneer Food Services, the use of trays accounts for 200 gallons of water per year, not to mention cleaning solutions, extra food and napkins.

“Things are just sort of converging,” said Greer. “It’s a culmination of a culture shift and an institutional belief that it’s strategically important for the college.”

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MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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