Hollins University and Emory & Henry College have named Jesse Freedman as energy manager for both institutions, a key component of a joint, three-year energy conservation project intended to foster a culture of sustainability.
Freedman comes to Hollins and Emory & Henry from Bloomington, Indiana, where he worked with Indiana University’s Office of Sustainability and the City of Bloomington Engineering Division. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in public policy with a concentration in environmental policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master of public affairs degree with a concentration in sustainable development from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Hollins President Nancy Gray said Freedman will use his knowledge and experience in the college setting to conduct a comprehensive assessment of energy consumption on each campus; identify strategies to further decrease energy use; develop and implement energy policies for each institution; and enhance educational activities to promote energy conservation by members of each campus community.
"We anticipate that our smaller infrastructures, in comparison with larger institutions, will make it viable for one energy manager to serve each campus effectively," she noted. "An energy manager serving both campuses will allow us to move forward together more rapidly, benefiting from shared experience with similar issues and developing an energy conservation model that will potentially be useful to other small liberal arts colleges."
The energy conservation project is supported by a $200,000 grant from the Jesse Ball duPont Fund, a national foundation based in Jacksonville, Florida. Administrators and faculty members from Hollins and Emory & Henry began discussing a partnership after they attended a duPont-sponsored energy conference held in Richmond in April 2009. "We recognized that small colleges, especially those with historic campuses whose buildings were constructed when energy conservation was not a priority, experience similar challenges yet have limited resources with which to make major reductions in energy use," Gray recalled. "We learned that Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges successfully implemented the concept of a shared energy manager, and that precedent encouraged us to move forward. Our joint initiative involves a smaller investment than would be required for two separate projects."
Gray emphasized the long-term benefits of the Hollins/Emory & Henry collaboration. "We will continue to sustain the energy conservation initiative well beyond the three-year project, building on prior efforts as well as lessons learned from this work."
Freedman begins at Hollins and Emory & Henry on September 12.