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Seeking To Be Leader On Climate Change Studies, Loyola Launches Environmental Sustainability School

Loyola is the first Jesuit university to have a school dedicated to environmental sustainability, school leaders say.

A building on the Loyola University Chicago campus in November 2018.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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ROGERS PARK — Loyola University Chicago has launched the School of Environmental Sustainability, expanding the university’s programs and research into issues surrounding climate change.

The new school elevates and builds upon Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, which was established in 2013 to offer courses on the topic and make the campus more eco-friendly.

The institute helped form a student-run farmers market and a greenhouse on campus, and it sparked the founding of Loyola’s annual Climate Change Conference. Students enrolled in the institute also helped develop hand sanitizer for use on campus during the pandemic.

Expanding the institute into its own school will help turn Loyola into a leader in environmental stewardship, university President Jo Ann Rooney said in a statement. It will also help the university meet its goal of zeroing out its carbon emissions by 2025.

Loyola’s Board of Trustees approved the elevation from institute to school in September.

The School of Environmental Sustainability held a virtual grand opening Monday evening. Nancy C. Tuchman, who led the institute, will serve as the school’s founding dean.

The school, Loyola’s 11th, will introduce five interdisciplinary areas of environmental study, increase research and scholarship opportunities on the environment and expand professional seminars and conferences on the subject.

It will offer five bachelor’s degree programs and four five-year dual-degree programs.

Loyola will hire staff for the school. The university hopes to triple the current enrollment of the Institute of Environment Sustainability, which is at Loyola’s Rogers Park campus. As of the fall semester, enrollment in the institute stood at 450 students, with 380 undergrads and 70 graduate students, said Anna Shymanski Zach, communications specialist at Loyola.

The School of Environmental Sustainability is the first school dedicated to environmental stewardship at a Jesuit Catholic university, Loyola officials said.

“As the urgency over global climate change intensifies, Loyola’s School of Environmental Sustainability contributes the best thinking and research of our faculty and students … in helping solve some of the world’s most pressing and complex challenges,” Rooney said in the statement.

For more information on Loyola’s School of Environmental Sustainability, click here.

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