Sierra Magazine Names Dickinson College one of the 'Coolest Schools' for Sustainability

Coolest Schools 2018 Logo

Annual Ranking Looks at Sustainability Across Campus

by Craig Layne

Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, has again named Dickinson College one of its “Coolest Schools” for environmental sustainability. The college is No. 6 on the list of nearly 270 institutions ranked for sustainability practices relating to academics, energy, investments, transportation, food, water and waste.

“Sustainability is part of the experience of every Dickinson student,” said Neil Leary, director of Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education (CSE). “Our professors have integrated sustainability into coursework in fields ranging from environmental science to history to international business & management to art & art history. It’s part of campus life. It’s part of the work students do in the community. It’s part of their studies when they go abroad. The aim is to give our students the skills they need to create a sustainable future.”

A wealth of campus organizations and programs, including CSE, the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), the College Farm and the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism, underscore the importance of sustainability as a pillar of a Dickinson education. 

The college also demonstrated its continuing commitment to sustainability through the recent construction of a 3-megawatt solar array and a new residence hall, which is registered with the certification goal of LEED Platinum, the highest certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

These efforts are making an impact. Seventy percent of Dickinson students report that they have gained skills related to sustainability that they can apply in their future professional work, and 75 percent say they have gained confidence in their abilities to create positive change in the world.

The Cool Schools ranking is the latest in a years-long series of sustainability honors for Dickinson. The college was recently named the No. 1 Overall Top Performer among baccalaureate institutions in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) “Sustainable Campus Index 2018.” The college is also the No. 3 Most Eco-Friendly College, according to College Magazine, and it has a spot on the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll.


Published August 27, 2018