by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Before we can enact change, we need to believe that change is indeed possible. That’s a foundational tenet behind a Dickinson program that brings inspiring leaders in the fight against climate change to campus to interact with students and faculty. And it was the central theme of a star-studded event honoring an alumnus’ work in that vein.
Sam Rose ’58 received the Climate Education Champion Award in recognition of his future-forward philanthropy at Dickinson and beyond. The award was bestowed last month by the global Earth Day Network, during the organization’s 2023 Climate Leadership Gala. Rose was selected for this honor in light of his “unrelenting dedication and philanthropic passion for education” and “immense generosity and commitment to the environmental movement,” wrote an Earth Day representative in a web statement announcing the event.
Rose’s philanthropic projects include the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Environmental Activism, which funds annual on-campus residencies that connect students and faculty with distinguished individuals and groups devoted to fighting climate change and restoring the natural world. Rose also supports the National Resources Defense Council, the American Prairie Conservancy and other environmental groups that focus on reducing human’s impacts on the planet, as well as Dickinson’s Samuel G. Rose ’58 Scholarship and a Dickinson scholarship for students from war-torn Ukraine.
The Dickinson alumnus was the first of four sustainability champions to receive awards during this year’s Earth Day gala. Marlén Garcia, executive director of Earth Uprising, received the Youth Climate Leadership Award. Seth Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Eat the Change and chair of the board for Beyond Meat, was named a Climate Visionary. Jacqueline Patterson, founder and executive director of the Chisholm Project, was given the Economy Award. Actor Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Mama Mia, Mank), a sustainability entrepreneur, was the keynote speaker.
Speaking to a gala audience of more than 300 climate luminaries and industry leaders, Rose spoke to the damage done to the environment in recent decades and the urgent need for change through education. He received a standing ovation.
Several Dickinsonians—including a past beneficiary of a Rose Scholarship—were among the hundreds who cheered him on.
The first step toward transformative sustainability education? It’s learning to dream big, said Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers P’19, P’21. Visionaries like Rose help lead an emerging generation of leaders toward building a better world.
“The hope that we want to give our students, through education and civic skill-building at all levels, is to deliberately and urgently convince them that they can solve the climate crisis through ingenuity, invention and innovation—and as entrepreneurs,” said Rogers, who presented the award to Rose. “Climate change promises to upend everything, but it also gives us a chance to redesign and rebuild the world in a very different way.”
Published May 9, 2023