The undisclosed sum will memorialize the beliefs and interests of Phil and Ardath Saunders by providing scholarships for Unity College students, with priority given to those in the Secondary Education program seeking science teacher certification.

Saunders noted that giving back to support nonprofit and charitable causes is consistent with his family’s beliefs and practices. Traditionally called tithing (giving a portion of one’s inheritance or income) in some traditions, Phil and Ardath always shared their good fortune in this way, Saunders says.

“We decided to follow their practice (tithing) and tithe from our inheritance from them, giving to organizations with missions that we support and where the money could make a difference,” Saunders explained.  Saunders says that Unity College was selected as a recipient because of its strong environmental mission and way that it develops future natural resource and environmental education leaders.

The Phil and Ardath Saunders Memorial Scholarship will be awarded on the basis of merit and to students who are engaged in student teaching.

“This is a wonderful gift that will support the aspirations of Unity College students for generations to come,” noted Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Senior Vice President for External Affairs.  “We express the most profound gratitude of the College to the Saunders family for this gift, and feel honored that the College was chosen because its mission so closely reflects the values and beliefs of Phil and Ardath Saunders.”

In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including for its focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century ecological problem solving and the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change; its ground-breaking green innovations such as the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world; and being the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education.

Through the framework of sustainability science, Unity College provides a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Through experiential and collaborative learning, our graduates emerge as responsible citizens, environmental stewards, and visionary leaders.

Thursday, December 19, 2013