The University of Washington today announced that it was chosen as part of the “Finest Four,” and has moved on to the final round of the Second Annual Environmental March Madness Tournament (#EnviroU), a national tournament recognizing colleges and universities in environmental excellence. The tournament is sponsored by Enviance, Inc., provider of environmental management and tracking software, in partnership with GreenBiz Group and Qualtrics. The “Finest Four” were narrowed down by the judges from last week’s “Environmental Eight” round by demonstrating exceptional environmental academics, student opportunities and on-campus sustainability initiatives, as well as outstanding student and faculty engagement in the tournament. The University of Washington is now in the running for “National Champion” title, announced on April 9.
The “Finest Four” are (alphabetically):
• Colorado State University
• George Mason University
• Ohio State University
• University of Washington
“Our track record in researching and teaching about environmentally sound and sustainable practices and incorporating them into the lives and behaviors of our students is impeccable,” said UW President Michael K. Young. “We are very mindful and self-conscious about the importance of educating the generation that will be taking over from us and—we hope and trust—doing a better job of it. The planet demands it.”
“Each of the schools advancing to the ‘Finest Four’ has a rock solid academic curriculum for environmental/sustainability studies and has demonstrated the ability to inspire a new generation of environmental professionals by combining their curriculum with innovative initiatives that capture the passion and imagination of their students, faculty and administrators,” said Lawrence Goldenhersh, CEO and president of Enviance, and a tournament judge. “From beehives to waste diversion to rain gardens, the student submittals – supported by faculty and staff – powerfully demonstrate that these institutions are priming their students to bring their ‘A’ game to the important task of solving the most pressing environmental and sustainability issues affecting our economy and society today. While the charge to the ‘National Champion’ title in the Environmental March Madness tournament is intense, the submissions make it clear the environmental programs these schools offer will make us all winners in the years to come.”
The Environmental March Madness tournament was designed to evaluate colleges and universities on environmental degree programs and curriculum, environmental opportunities for students, and campus sustainability efforts. To move on to the “Finest Four,” the University of Washington and the rest of the “Environmental Eight” were evaluated by an expert panel of judges, hailing from leading environmental non-profits, top media and education publications and large for-profit companies defining sustainable business operations.
Tournament prizes include a $5,000 grant for the winning school as well as one all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego for a faculty member to attend and speak at the Enviance User Conference, April 22-26, 2013. Additionally, two students from the “Finest Four” will also be awarded Google Nexus tablets.
For more information on the Environmental March Madness Tournament, please email Enviance@schwartzmsl.com, or visit http://www.enviance.com/march-madness. You can also receive real-time updates on Twitter by following @enviance and #EnviroU.