The Richard David Stutzke Foundation has awarded a gift for an undisclosed sum to Unity College in Unity, Maine.  The gift will support scholarships awarded to Unity College students with priority given to those pursuing studies as part of the Sustainable Energy Management, and Environmental Policy, Law, and Society programs.

The foundation chose to award the scholarship in large part because of Unity College’s decision in 2012 to become the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels.  The decision was framed by the College as an ethical imperative related to the recognition that the burning of fossil fuels is driving the crisis of global climate change.  Since Unity College, an environmental college in Unity, Maine, announced its decision to divest more than 300 college and university campuses across the United States have expressed robust student movements encouraging divestment.

Unity College has decided to turn the gift into an endowed scholarship.

“Under the umbrella of sustainability, we are ensuring that this gift continues to give in perpetuity,” noted Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Senior Vice President for External Affairs.

Dr. Stutzke spent most of his career in the defense industry, working at Science Applications International Corporation in Colorado Springs and later Huntsville, Alabama. A prolific author, Stutzke’s 40 years of experience with software development and project management culminated in 2005 with publication of his long-awaited book Estimating Software-Intensive Systems: Projects, Products and Processes. According to his wife, Sharon, he was a man of boundless energy, drive and intelligence who lived life to the fullest.

“We never knew Richard David Stutzke but from what we have learned about him since receiving this gift, we wish we had,” said Martha Nordstrom, Director of College Development.  “We are delighted to be able to honor his name and his work.”

Doug Fox, a Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Director of the Center for Sustainability and Global Change, is focused on the opportunities that the scholarship will create for deserving and talented students who are committed to a life in service to the natural world.

“This scholarship will support students who are committed to creating a more sustainable world,” said Fox.  “I will enjoy telling recipients of this scholarship its origins in recognition of Unity College’s fossil fuel divestment commitment.”

In addition to being the first college in the nation to divest from investments in fossil fuels, Unity College has also become the first college in the nation to adopt a Sustainability Science framework. As defined by the National Academies of Sciences, Sustainability Science is the leading edge of 21st century transdisciplinary (collaborative) environmental problem solving.  Through its focus Unity College is training students to address the most significant ecological challenges of the modern era, including the mitigation of global climate change.

Known as America’s Environmental College, in recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including: divestment and its focus on sustainability science; 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.

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013