Center for the Environment and Sustainable Catawba Welcome New Students

08/19/12 by Sydney Smith

Student Kyra Thurow is shown with the Vernaculars in the background.

Catawba College’s newest students learned about the campus’ many green initiatives and opportunities August 14 when the Center for the Environment and Sustainable Catawba hosted a special event at Peeler Crystal Lounge on the Catawba campus.

 After enjoying music from Catawba’s Vernaculars group and Frostbites frozen treats, the new students listened to a presentation describing Sustainable Catawba, a coalition of campus organizations that work to improve sustainability on campus.

Catawba College President Brien Lewis told the students about his vision for Catawba’s environmentally friendly future. He expressed reverence for the passion among Catawba’s community to care for the environment and make significant lifestyle changes to be greener people.  Also, Lewis discussed new campus maps that will show visitors all the eco-friendly features on Catawba’s campus.

The Center’s executive director, Dr. John Wear, talked to students about Catawba’s history of making environmentally conscious changes. Over the years, Catawba’s student environmental organizations have led a host of events to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and caring for the Earth.  “Students have traditionally been leaders of sustainability efforts on campus,” said Wear.

Catawba College senior Kyra Thurow, an active member in Catawba’s student environmental programs, informed the new students about student environmental clubs and opportunities. Environmental Catawba Outreach (ECO) is a campus club allowing students to participate in many environmental awareness activities, including a recyclable fashion show, guest speaker events, canoeing trips, hiking trips, and Easter egg hunts in the preserve.

Green Education Outreach (GEO) is an organization of students chosen to represent the Center for the Environment. GEO members receive a stipend to help educate visiting students on field trips about environmentally friendly activities and the importance of green living. Both organizations exist under Sustainable Catawba, an environmental initiative that reaches out to not only campus residents, but also the surrounding community.

Wear and Thurow both discussed the importance of caring for the Earth, as it is our home and the home of future generations. “It’s our world,” Thurow said. “It’s important for us to do our part.”


The Center for the Environment at Catawba College was founded in 1996 to provide education and outreach centered on prevalent environmental challenges and to foster community-oriented sustainable solutions that can serve as a model for programs throughout the country. For more information, visit or

Go back