SMC Honored for Community Service, "Green" Programs

Legacy GardenSaint Mary’s is well-known among graduates and the local community for its commitment to service, and now it has been recognized at the highest national level.

This year, the College was honored as a finalist on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Saint Mary’s was one of 17 higher education institutions out of 641 nationwide that were considered for a 2010 Presidential Award — the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for community service. Eleven, including Saint Mary’s, were identified as Presidential Award Finalists and six received the Presidential Award.

“Commitment to service, social justice and concern for the poor are essential elements of the College’s mission, and these concerns are woven into the academic experience of our students,” said Brother President Ronald Gallagher. “We are extremely proud to receive recognition at the presidential level for our commitment to community service in the Bay Area and internationally.”

SMC was recognized for its Lasallian mission, the community engagement learning goals in the core curriculum and two ongoing initiatives – the Trans-Global Executive MBA program, in which faculty and students work to empower nonprofit agencies worldwide, and for service to the Alameda Point Collaborative, a housing community for the formerly homeless.

Saint Mary’s was also named among the most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada in the 2011 edition of the Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges.

“Sustainability is part of the College’s academic focus, its public programming and our overall campus life. We’re proud to be considered a leading ‘green’ institution of higher education,” said Marshall Welch, the Sustainability Committee chairperson.

Notable sustainability efforts include a car-sharing program, energy conservation measures and a student-run vegetable garden that provides more than 200 pounds of food each week to campus dining services. Water conservation efforts save an estimated 4.3 million gallons of water each year through green plumbing in college restroom facilities. Sixty percent of the college’s annual food budget is spent on local items, and in the dining halls, all pre-consumer food waste is composted and students enjoy fair-trade coffee.