SAGE Award

July 30, 2013

Greening the Divinity School, a collaborative student, staff and faculty group that aims to improve the environmental sustainability of the Divinity School community, events, and Swift Hall, has been awarded a SAGE award from the University of Chicago Office of Sustainability.

SAGE, which stands for Sustainable Actions for a Greener Environment, is an award given to campus groups that best reflect the Office of Sustainability’s core message of environmental awareness.

"The Greening the Divinity School group has long been a model for integrating and advancing sustainability,” said Ilsa Flanagan, Director for the Office of Sustainability. “Anyone who has been to Swift Hall can see and feel first hand the commitment of the School to understand and reduce its impact on the environment."

With the energy of students Collin Soderberg-Chase, Erika Dornfeld, George Arceneaux, and Hannah Campbell Gustafson, and working with Professor Christian Wedemeyer, Greening the Divinity School made a number of strides over the past year to accomplish its dual goals of acting as responsible citizens of the earth and setting an example for other campus entities to follow. 

Some highlights include preparation for a new courtyard garden at Swift Hall, as well as a successful Earth Day volunteer opportunity at St. Paul and the Redeemer’s community garden. Several projects were also initiated in collaboration with the Grounds of Being coffee shop, including a reusable mugs program for current and incoming students and coordinating the use of coffee grounds for local community gardens. The organization also worked with the Divinity Students Association on an effort to maximize compostable items at all Divinity School events. Finally, the group provided organic local vegetables to help co-sponsor the final “4 to 8” community social event of the year.

The multi-faceted efforts are all in line with Greening the Divinity’s strategy to make an impact “through social norming and facilitating environmentally sound choice-making within Swift Hall and in the everyday lives of our community members.” To learn more, please contact the group directly at .

(story by Tyler Day)