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Hanley Sustainability Institute

Former student’s podcast series recounts history of sustainability evolution at University of Dayton

By Mark Gokavi

Hanley Sustainability Institute students leaders often talked about - or wrote on a whiteboard - the idea of starting a podcast.

Early in 2021, University of Dayton graduate Sophia Palmer made it happen and decided to tell the story of the sustainability trailblazers that came before 2014’s $12.5 million gift from George ('77) and Amanda Hanley.

Palmer, a December 2020 UD grad who majored in mechanical engineering and earned a sustainability minor, developed a special four-part series that detailed four eras of how HSI and UD's sustainability program got to where it is and hinted at its future.

Calling the stories “informative and inspirational,” Palmer spoke to numerous administrators, faculty members and students connected to the effort to forge a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly campus.

The series starts with events beginning around 1985 and journeys through the decades after that led to a new strategic plan and the academic program offering four tracks in a major and a graduate certificate.

"Here at the Hanley Sustainability Institute, we understand that we would not be where we are today without the passion, creativity and hard work of many students, faculty and staff across the University,” Palmer said during the podcast. “That is why we wanted to document where we’ve been, where we’re at and where we’re going."

Ben McCall, HSI’s executive director, said that HSI looks “forward to building on the strong foundation that has been laid by decades of UD students, staff and faculty to advance sustainability education, research and operations both on campus and in our community."

For more sustainability news and information, visit HSI’s news blog, the Hanley Sustainability Institute website and the sustainability program website. To sign up for HSI’s Sustainability Spotlight newsletter, register here.

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