Associate Arts & Culture Editor
On the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 23, members of the Millersville University community gathered in the Lombardo Welcome Center for a Positive Energy Breakfast to celebrate the building that achieved zero energy certification. Recognition was also given for the sustainability work that’s happening on campus.
In order to earn this certification, the Lombardo Welcome Center had to generate all of its own energy for a continuous year, making it the first building in Pennsylvania to do so. Not only did it do this, the welcome center also generated 75% more than was used during its first year.
Chris Steuer, director of sustainability at MU, explains that doing so puts the building in the top five highest energy performing buildings in the country. This saves money on utility costs which can be put towards the Positive Energy Fund, which funds faculty, staff, and student-led projects that will positively contribute to local and global communities.
The Positive Energy Breakfast was followed by a panel discussion led by President Wubah. The panel featured community leaders like Sam Lombardo, chairman and CEO of the Benecon Group, as well as the namesake of the building. Thomas Adams, the Chief Operating Officer of the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority was the second panelist. The third being Dr. Karen Rice, who is the Chair of the School of Social Work at MU. She teaches students about research, diversity, and global social work.
Wubah starts his welcome address by mentioning the building’s impact, “Five years ago, Millersville University unsheeted plans to build a new type of building on campus. A building that not only serves to welcome prospective students to our campus, but that also serves to welcome all of us to a sustainable future.”
During the panel, sustainability and social entrepreneurship were the main focuses of discussion.
President Wubah has a set of questions that he asked each panelist, many expanding off of each other. After all of these questions were answered, they then answered questions from the audience.
During a question on what makes the city of Lancaster so prosperous, diversity is brought up. “It’s the diversity of thought, diversity of people, diversity of backgrounds, that truly makes our community so prosperous,” President Wubah comments. The people that make up community are what makes it flourish.
This discussion panel, geared towards Millersville University students, allowed them to directly talk to community leaders that helped shape the campus in its strive towards sustainability. President Wubah mentions that this certification is only the first award, and that there are many more to come.