May 2014 Archways

Campus Buzz

img_8378-3256180559-oTerry Gross Delivers Commencement Address

Terry Gross, one of the most trusted and respected voices in American media, delivered the Commencement address to the Class of 2014 and degree candidates from the two graduate schools on May 17.

Fresh Air with Terry Gross on National Public Radio has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Peabody Award in 1994. The Alliance for Women in Media presented Gross with a Gracie Award in 1999 in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Edward R. Murrow Award for her “outstanding contributions to public radio” and for advancing the “growth, quality and positive image of radio.”

“Whether she’s interviewing a scientist, politician, or rock star, Terry Gross draws out her subjects in a way that gives listeners a real sense of who that person is and what motivates them,” says Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy. “Terry was an excellent choice to give this address since learning to ask probing questions is one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts education.”

A bonfire-ready football player was built on Merion Green for the filming of a pilot of a new ABC drama.

A bonfire-ready football player was built on Merion Green for the filming of a pilot of a new ABC drama.

Prime Time on Campus

Spring break brought camera crews to campus as Bryn Mawr was selected to serve as the body double for Middletown University, the fictional setting of a new ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder. Starring two-time Academy-Award nominee Viola Davis and produced by the creators of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, the “sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The pilot will debut in fall of this year.

Father of Black Aviation Honored at Goodhart HallBuzz_Anderson Stamp

In March, Goodhart Hall played host to a dedication ceremony of a U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp issued in honor of C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the lead flight instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen. With his record-breaking flights, the Bryn Mawr native, who died in 1996, inspired other African Americans to become pilots. But in 1932, when he received his pilot’s license, he was the only African American in the country qualified to serve as a flight instructor or to fly commercially. During World War II, the pilots he trained—the Tuskegee Airmen—flew thousands of sorties in the European theater, destroyed more than a hundred German aircraft, and received scores of Distinguished Flying Crosses.

Students Eat Fresh and Local At 100-Mile Meal

In April, Dining Services and the Sustainable Food Committee presented students with a “100-Mile Meal” made up entirely of food produced within 100 miles of campus. Among the items on the dinner menu were Colombian roasted chicken that used birds from Eberly Poultry Farms in Stevens, Pennsylvania, and a fudge chocolate triple layer cake baked at Pelman Foods in Lancaster County.

In addition to winning numerous awards for the quality of its fare, Bryn Mawr’s Dining Services has long been at the forefront of environmentally sustainable food-service practices. The College composts all food waste from dining halls as well as the restaurant at the Wyndham Alumnae House and provides recycling in all areas. All on-campus retail food operations now use compostable disposables and provide ceramic service for “dining in.” Dining Services purchases local foods whenever possible and offers locally sourced seasonal fruit; participates in the Meatless Monday national program; and limits take-out availability to lower the carbon footprint of its operations.

“Institutions of higher education are becoming leaders in sustainability initiatives,” says Assistant Director of Dining Services Richard Clow. “Dining is often the area which can help the campus community accomplish its goals. By selecting the way our food is purchased, delivered, prepared, and disposed of, we can reduce the impact on our environment.”

College Shifts to All Wind Power

February 28, 2014, quietly marked a milestone for sustainability at Bryn Mawr. It was the College’s first day operating on 100 percent wind power, thanks to the purchase of renewable-energy certificates (RECs). RECs are sold by renewable energy generators who use the proceeds to fund industry operations and projects, so while traditional electricity still flows through campus lines, each megawatt hour is offset by a REC.

Previously, the College purchased RECs on 50 percent of its energy usage, and five years ago, the College contracted with an environmental firm to calculate its carbon footprint and to identify areas in which it could reduce and conserve resources. That study found that 57 percent of the College’s carbon footprint was the result of its electricity purchase because Pennsylvania generates most of its power with coal.

According to Chief Administrative Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer Jerry Berenson, several factors aligned to allow the move to 100 percent, including student activism. “We were affected by the students on the sustainability committee; they saw this as a real priority,” he said.

During a session on sustainability at the October Board of Trustees meeting, the prospect of switching to 100 percent renewable energy garnered support from board members, students, faculty, and staff. Though the College was halfway through a three-year electricity contract, the administration agreed to seriously pursue the complete switch to renewable energy.

Says Director of Facilities Services Glenn Smith: “We want to be able to say that we as an institution think this is the right thing to be doing. It’s right for our country; it’s right for our environment.”