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Director of Communication
Loyola University Chicago Launches New Academic Institute Focusing on Environmental Sustainability
First-of-its-Kind Institute in Midwest to be Housed in One of Chicago’s Greenest Facilities
CHICAGO, August 15, 2013 – Loyola University Chicago’s new Institute of Environmental Sustainability, the first-of-its-kind in the Midwest, will officially debut on September 6. The Institute merges four important units on campus—the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy, Office of Sustainability, Department of Environmental Sciences, and academic programming at the University’s Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois—and is the culmination of Loyola’s 10-year commitment to sustainability.
“We are delighted to open this Institute, which is designed to collaboratively address today’s ecological challenges–challenges which disproportionately affect the lives of the poor and marginalized in our world,” said Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola. “Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus, has called on each of us to help heal our broken relationship with creation, and I am hopeful that the Institute’s programs and research will be an important step in that direction.”
The Institute is headquartered in a new, state-of-the-art facility on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus that includes clean energy and biodiesel production labs, a green house, two aquaponics systems, an ecodome, classrooms, a 412-bedroom residence hall, and is one of the greenest facilities in Chicagoland. Designed by architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), the Institute’s new home boasts a number of cutting-edge sustainable features, including the largest geothermal heating and cooling installation in Chicago, rainwater harvesting, and high-efficiency heat-recovery technology.
“The Institute of Environmental Sustainability is the incredibly innovative result of an integrated design approach to higher education spaces,” said Jim Curtin, AIA, design principal at SCB and a recognized expert for humanly-scaled student life spaces for more than 25 years. “We’re very proud of our collaborative history with the University, particularly with the Institute, as it embodies SCB’s philosophy to create design solutions that address broader social and environmental issues.”
Through partnerships with Loyola University Chicago’s schools and Health Sciences Division, the Institute seeks to form trans-disciplinary partnerships to identify innovative solutions to the world’s environmental challenges. In addition to academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, the Institute will sponsor an array of campus programs focused on sustainability, including a student farm, urban agriculture and aquaponics, ecological restoration, and the University’s well established biodiesel program.
The Institute’s director is Nancy Tuchman, PhD, a long-time Loyola administrator and professor of biology. “As director I am committed to developing a strategic plan that positions the Institute in a way that allows us to directly respond to global environmental issues and train and educate students in areas that make them marketable,” said Tuchman. “The University has made a substantial investment in these new facilities and it demonstrates the enormous level of commitment that Loyola has to address our critical environmental issues.
In addition to the Institute launch and open house, the University will continue the festivities throughout the weekend with an Urban Food Symposium on Saturday, September 7 that will feature a keynote address from Barton Seaver, chef, author, and director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at Harvard’s Center for Health and Global Environment.
For more information on the Loyola University Chicago Institute of Environmental Sustainability, visit LUC.edu/sustainability.
About Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is an award-winning architecture, interior design, and planning firm that practices internationally from offices in Chicago and San Francisco. SCB has extensive experience with the design of urban mixed-use, multi-family residential, hotel, corporate office, higher education, laboratory, and transportation facilities. With a talented staff of nearly 160 professionals, the firm is well recognized for its diversity of practice, expertise, and progressive approach to design and energy conservation. For more information, visit www.scb.com.
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 16,000 students. Nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Beijing, China; Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 10 schools and colleges, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, and Graduate School. Consistently ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.
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