UC Merced Garners More Accolades for ‘Green’ Efforts


UC Merced wins Governor’s environmental Economic Leadership Award

Tom Lollini, Richard Cummings, Gov. Schwarzenegger, Brad Samuelson and Bruce Race


UC Merced continues to earn kudos for its environmentally conscious efforts and achievements.

Last month, UC Merced won the Governor’s Environmental Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) – California’s highest environmental award – for the campus’ 2009 Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP).

UC Merced was one of 15 award recipients honored on Sept. 30 at a reception in Los Angeles during the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 2, a conference in which local government leaders from around the world discussed climate change. The LDRP, a 136-page document used to guide the campus’ physical growth, development and land-use priorities, won in the comprehensive land-use planning category.

"We are excited to receive this esteemed recognition," said Thomas Lollini, FAIA, associate vice chancellor for physical planning, design and construction. "This is not only a testament to the value of the work the campus has done here. It is an endorsement of the vision of UC Merced as a leader in sustainability and a model for others to follow."

On hand from UC Merced to accept the award were Lollini, Richard Cummings, principal planner, Brad Samuelson, director of environmental planning and Bruce Race, architect and planner for RACESTUDIO.

On Oct. 7, the Sustainable Endowments Institute announced that UC Merced earned a "B+" in organization’s 2010 College Sustainability Report Card. This is the first year UC Merced was included in the survey.

Matthew St.Clair, sustainability manager for the UC Office of the President described the report card as one of the most thorough and comprehensive campus sustainability rankings out there. It includes profiles for 332 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Thirty-three California campuses – including four other UC schools – were included in the report. UC Merced's overall B+ grade placed it among the state's top seven.

“The fact that only 25 universities in the country got a higher overall grade than UC Merced, which has only had four to five short years to develop programs, is commendable," St.Clair said.

Established in 2005, the Sustainable Endowments Institute is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. The goal of the organization's report card is to provide information about schools' sustainability efforts so that all can learn from each other's experiences and foster more effective policies.