Saint Louis University (SLU) has received a $5 million grant from the Alberici Foundation to create the Center for Sustainability. This will be the first Center for Sustainability at any of the nation’s 28 Jesuit higher education institutions and it will help create the first master’s degree in sustainability program offered anywhere in the Midwest.

The new sustainability master’s program begins in the fall of 2010. Students of the program will focus on green business, sustainable engineering, and urban planning. Due to SLU’s location in the heart of midtown St. Louis, the new center will have a strong focus on sustainability in the urban setting.

The first year of the two-year master’s program will focus on more basic sustainability topics. Students can then focus down during the second year of the program. During the second year, students can choose from three different career tracks: Sustainable Enterprise Development (Business), Engineering and Technology, and Sustainable Development Policy and Practice (Public Policy and Social Work).

In addition to preparing today’s college students for a career in sustainable business, the grant funds will also allow for environmental research. One million dollars have been set aside to create the Alberici Fund for Innovation in Sustainability, which will focus on sustainable research projects.

Another facet of the new Center for Sustainability will be providing sustainable education to the public. The center plans to host a six-week lecture series on the importance of renewable energy to local business professionals. This six-week lecture series will be offered twice each year.

Several departments on the campus of SLU have joined forces to support the new Center for Sustainability including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Public Service, John Cook School of Business, and the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology.

For more information, visit the Saint Louis University Center for Sustainability website.

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