Agnes Scott Receives $1 million for Sustainability Projects

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sustainability efforts at Agnes Scott College will expand with $1 million from alumna Jeanne Manning ’72 and her husband, Jim.

As a charter member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Agnes Scott joined more than 650 other colleges and universities across the country in committing to reduce their environmental impact. Agnes Scott has created a climate action plan (CAP) to work toward becoming climate neutral by 2039 and now diverts more than 64 percent of its waste from landfills. Agnes Scott was the first college or university in the state to prohibit idling on campus and the first to compost waste from its residence halls.

With a plan and new programs in place, the college is ready to begin integrating sustainability more deeply throughout campus.

“These funds are critical as Agnes Scott moves from the start-up phase of being a more sustainable institution and into the implementation phase,” said Susan Kidd, director of sustainability at Agnes Scott. “We can now move ahead with critical energy efficiency projects as well as provide faculty and students incentives to teach and learn about sustainability. Agnes Scott will no doubt benefit for a very long time from the projects funded by the Mannings.”

A portion of the Mannings’ $1 million will be used to retrofit some of the college’s older buildings to conserve energy and water.

“Agnes Scott has so many beautiful, historic buildings. There are ways to preserve the unique character of the campus and still be efficient and preserve resources,” Jeanne Manning said. “With today’s technology, it’s possible to buy products that use less energy and cost less.”

The funds also will be used to support and encourage faculty to teach sustainability in their courses across the curriculum and for increasing sustainability-related student internships and research projects on and off campus.

Manning said her and her husband’s drive to support sustainability stems in part from a strong conviction to protect natural beauty—particularly that of their home, Sea Island, Ga. Both grew up on nearby St. Simons Island and have been active in working to create a land trust to preserve undeveloped land there.

“My house is perched on the marsh looking out toward St. Simons. I look out at that beautiful marsh and think about preserving it for future generations,” Manning said.

Today’s students have an unprecedented opportunity to develop new sustainability technologies and strategies, Manning said, something just not available to students during her time at Agnes Scott in the 1960s and 70s.

“I would give anything to be able to go back and study science and sustainability,” she said. “But these worlds are available now to young women and today’s students know they will make a difference. It’s exciting to be a part of that.”

To learn more about sustainability initiatives at Agnes Scott College, visit

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.