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Steps to Sustainability Lauded

In all the 66 years since I graduated, [the January 2013 issue] has been the Bulletin I have enjoyed the most,121027_MachadoINSIDE.jpg and I read most of it. It is great to know that Swarthmore is taking all these steps to be more sustainable. Keep up the great work!

Doris Bye Ferm ’46
Bellingham, Wash.

Thanks for sharing your personal story about realistic decisions on sustainability in the January Bulletin’s From the Editor column. I am glad your accident was such that you are around to tell it. I recently also had to make an auto/sustainability decision. I wound up trading in my Lexus for a Toyota Prius, and I’ve never looked back. The concept of getting 50-plus mpg while listening to Satellite radio and Pandora is a good mix for me. I also happen to be one of the founding members of our company’s sustainability group (4R Earth), and I am currently reviewing our use of paper products and determining ways to reduce usage and increase supplies that use postconsumer recycled material.

Larry Ehmer ’82
Suffolk, Va.

The January issue of the Bulletin opened, seemingly of its own accord, to President Rebecca Chopp’s “Taking Care of the Land.” Reading it was startling and heartening. Her reference to Wes Jackson, whom I have long revered and had the good fortune to meet a few years ago, and to Wayne Montgomery, a professor of religion, as well as to the symbolism of gardens as a place to nurture moral imagination struck a vibrant cord. So did her message of “taking care” as a foundation for sustainability.

Several colleagues and I have now spent the last two years exploring two interrelated themes: redefining sustainability as flourishing and the role of spirituality in business. We considered spirituality as a way of experiencing the world and taking action that leads to caring, based on a personal journey in search of connectedness and meaning. In our view, such a journey can lead to more relationship-based ways of experiencing the world, which, in turn, can enable actions that support flourishing enterprises. President Chopp’s childhood connection to the land, her scholarship in religion, and her commitment to sustainability will no doubt be part of an extraordinary legacy of leadership in education.

Chris Laszlo ’80
Great Falls, Va.

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