UMES named top ‘Green’
– (April 22, 2014) – A comprehensive survey released today by The Building
Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University in recognition of Earth Day says historically
black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are driving energy efficiency on their
campuses and promoting sustainability through their policies, practices and curriculums.
ranked the nation’s most eco-friendly
HBCUs and found the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Florida A&M University
were the top green campuses among public
institutions. Spelman College and Howard University topped the list for private
schools, BGI director, according to Felicia Davis.
“Black colleges are going green,” Davis said. “This
survey provides a clear picture of the wide-ranging activities underway at
HBCUs to generate renewable energy, build to LEED Gold Certification standards
and engage students in green initiatives, ecological curriculum and sustainable
UMES’ partnership with a private-sector vendor to
install a grid of 7,800 solar panels that began generating electricity in 2011
stood out in the survey, Davis said.
Rankings were determined by analyzing responses from
43 participating HBCUs in the areas of administration, energy efficiency, green
building, recycling, renewable energy generation, food, transportation,
purchasing, and student involvement.
“We determined that students are getting more
involved in the environmental movement on HBCU campuses,” said Andrea Harris,
president of North
Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development, the company commissioned
to analyze the survey. “HBCUs are also using
innovative, green technologies to address health, economic, and educational
challenges in underserved communities.”
According to the survey results, all of the top
institutions have signed the American College and University Presidents Climate
Commitment, created sustainability committees, and are taking steps to reduce
Innovative renewable energy solutions landed UMES as
the top ranking school among all HBCUs.
"The 17-acre solar farm we opened three years
ago is now paying environmental and economic dividends,” said G. Dale Wesson,
UMES vice president for research and economic development. “Our future plans
will reduce our carbon foot print and also fully engage faculty and students in
production-scale renewable energy generation research projects."
UMES’ Somerset Hall, a 1950s-era building renovated
five years ago, received a “Gold” certificate in 2011 from Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED), a green building certification program. The
university’s new aviation science-engineering building set to open in the fall
of 2015 will utilize geothermal energy.
The top-rated HBCUs in the survey were:
1. University of Maryland Eastern Shore
2. Florida Agriculture & Mechanical
3. Elizabeth City (N.C.) State University
Carolina Agriculture & Technical University
(Three-Way Tie) Morgan State University, Bowie State University &
Mississippi Valley State University
1. Spelman College
2. Howard University
Claflin University & Clark Atlanta University
Information in this report was compiled and produced by the
Building Green Initiative
Administrators from the top-rated school on the Building Green Initiative’s
list of top 10 greenest HBCUs stand in front of a picture of UMES’ 17-acre
solar farm. Left-to-right: Dr. Ronnie Holden, vice president of administrative
affairs; Dr. Maurice Ngwaba, assistant to the vice president of administrative
affairs; Dr. Juliette B. Bell, president; Dr. G. Dale Wesson, vice president of
research and economic development.