University Earns Lofty Sustainability Ranking

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UT Arlington advanced all the way to the final eight in the March Madness tournament—for sustainability, not basketball.

Held for the first time, the national contest sought the university with the best undergraduate program in environmental studies and sustainability. Schools submitted pictures, videos, and essays by students and faculty that detailed their efforts. Environmental science professionals reviewed the materials alongside other factors like freshman retention rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and the diversity of sustainability courses offered.

UT Arlington beat out Duke and Cornell, among others, to survive the first cut—when the “Sustainable 16” was trimmed to the “Environmental Eight”—but was eliminated before the final four.

The quantity and quality of schools participating exceeded our expectations, making it a very difficult decision for the judges in narrowing the field of finalists,” said Lawrence Goldenhersh, CEO and president of tournament sponsor Enviance. “The schools should be proud of what they have accomplished in building elite environmental academic programs that are the envy of their peers.”

Colby College, Colorado State University, Humboldt State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Davis also made the Environmental Eight.

Colby College in Waterville, Maine, was crowned champion and received $5,000 for its environmental and sustainability department.

UT Arlington’s sustainability initiatives include a community garden, car rental and bike programs, extensive recycling, and construction projects to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design benchmarks.

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