The Columns

Campaign Priorities and Report Cards

— by on October 28th, 2010

The renovation of the Colonnade is a big part of the $500 million capital campaign that the University announced earlier this week. And a key factor in the renovation is the environmentally sensitive way in which we are conducting it.

Followers of the annual College Sustainability Report Card will have noticed that while Washington and Lee’s grade improved this year to B from last year’s C+, the University did not report any buildings that had received certification under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. That was the case even though we’ve been boasting that both of our most recent projects, Newcomb Hall’s restoration and Hillel House, were LEED projects.

In fact, Mike Carmagnola, chief facilities officer, says we do expect both of these projects to receive LEED certification, but the paperwork to complete the LEED scoreboard is still underway. Since we got a C last year on the Green Building component of the Sustainability Report Card even without the two LEED buildings, chances are good that all our hard work on various sustainability initiatives will continue to pay off. Next up for an environmentally sensitive restoration and eventual LEED certification: Payne Hall. Work on that project is underway.

Meantime, the largest single component of the campaign is to raise $160 million for need-based financial aid so that qualified students can attend regardless of financial circumstances. The work already done in this area and the University’s overall financial stewardship were recognized this week when Kiplinger came out with its annual list of best values among private institutions and placed W&L fourth among liberal arts colleges.