At the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia in November 2013, USGBC recognized those who've shown outstanding dedication to the movement to green our built environment through the annual Leadership Awards.
Mary Spilde, president of Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., received the 2013 Center for Green Schools President's Award, one of two awards given each year to outstanding college and university presidents, one from a two-year and one from a four-year institution.
Lane Community College is viewed as a national leader in “greening” the college environment and developing the entire campus as a “learning lab” for student instruction. President Spilde led and supported a comprehensive sustainability initiative starting with a college value and incorporating the triple bottom line – economy, environment and social justice – across operations and learning. Under her direction, the college became one of the first signatories of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment and began developing a strategy for becoming carbon neutral in 2006.
She was instrumental in the creation of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Center, and because of her leadership, community colleges now have a place to engage in sustainability activities, access resources and receive recognition for campus efforts. She utilized her position on the AACC board to bring focus to sustainability for the sector.