Auburn Office of Sustainability recognizes campus, community efforts with 2016 Spirit of Sustainability Awards

Published: April 19, 2016
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The Auburn University Office of Sustainability is holding its fourth annual Spirit of Sustainability Awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 20, at 3:30 p.m. in the Pavilion at Ag Heritage Park. These awards recognize the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni who "exemplify the Auburn spirit by making significant contributions toward sustainability on campus or in the community."

"Rachel Carson said, 'for a good many years I have believed that in order to achieve one must dream greatly – one must not be afraid to think large thoughts.' This awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognize some of these wonderful people who 'think large thoughts' and act on them to create positive change," said Mike Kensler, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Recipients were chosen for their motivation and commitment to sustainability; impact on behalf of sustainability; and the degree to which others were engaged and involved.

The 2016 award winners are: Samuel Price, student recipient in the University College; Rachael Gamlin, student recipient in the College of Liberal Arts; Sweta Byahut, faculty recipient in the College of Liberal Arts; Wayde Morse, faculty recipient in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Michael Freeman, staff recipient in Risk Management and Safety; June Henton, administration recipient in the College of Human Sciences; Dan Ballard, alumnus recipient from the City of Auburn; and Brian and Elizabeth Simpson, alumni recipients from Southern Foothills Farm.

Group initiatives also were recognized and included the DESIGNhabitat Project in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and the Energy Management Group in Facilities Management.

Consideration is given to initiatives in the areas of research, instruction, outreach and operations, and campus and community projects which have taken place within the last two years and have made a significant difference in the areas of nature, the economy, society or individual well-being.

"The program was created in part to generate awareness of sustainability initiatives and to acknowledge those who are making significant contributions," Kensler said. "The Spirit of Sustainability Awards program is also intended to inspire further innovations, initiatives and actions toward a flourishing future."

Dean Bill Hardgrave of the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business will provide introductory remarks, and light refreshments will be served following the presentation of the awards.

Read more about the awardees at