MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) presented its annual Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards today, and Middlebury College was among the winners. The awards recognize institutions that have demonstrated an outstanding overall commitment to environmental sustainability in their governance and administration, curriculum and research, operations, campus culture, and community outreach.

Other winners were Michigan State University, Green Mountain College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Evergreen State College and University of California Berkeley received honorable mentions.

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada working to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education.

“The judges were impressed with Middlebury’s overall leadership and in particular its strong student leadership for sustainability and its climate neutral commitment,” wrote AASHE Executive Director Tom Kimmerer in the award letter. “We had a very competitive pool of applicants this year, and we hope that other schools will learn from and follow Middlebury’s wonderful example.”

“The college is very pleased to be recognized for its ongoing efforts in sustainability. It is a deeply felt commitment here on our campus and we are constantly working to identify, develop and implement environmentally sound solutions in a wide variety of ways,” said Dean of Environmental Affairs Nan Jenks-Jay.

The award was presented at a ceremony during the Greening of the Campus Conference at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Middlebury College Campus Sustainability Coordinator Jack Byrne accepted the award on Middlebury’s behalf. Accompanying Byrne was Middlebury College junior Billie Borden, who worked this past summer at the college as a sustainability intern and was also instrumental in the college’s adoption of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016.

The awards are endorsed by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC), a network of 13 leading higher education associations with a commitment to advancing sustainability within their constituencies as well as in the system of higher education. AASHE received 21 applications for the campus awards and 12 applicants for the student award.  The award winners were selected by pools of campus sustainability experts assembled by AASHE.