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$10,000 per year scholarships available to new environmental majors at Catawba

SALISBURY — Generous scholarships are available to new students at Catawba College who seek to major in the environment and sustainability program, with concentrations in environmental science, natural resource management, environmental and outdoor education and sustainable planning and leadership. Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, new environmental majors are eligible for scholarships of $10,000 a year for each of the four years they attend the college.

Cindy Barr, vice president of enrollment, shared, “We are thrilled future Catawba students will have an opportunity to pursue their passion for the environment and sustainability as a result of this generous gift. In recent years, gifts like this one have helped grow and enhance our Environmental majors and programs. Sustainability is part of the ethos of the Catawba community. This gift honors that ethos and we are confident these scholarship recipients will become Catawba graduates who are empowered and equipped to impact positive environmental change.”

Catawba can offer a value-added education for students pursuing environmental majors, including real-world opportunities to be involved in initiatives and activities that foster environmental stewardship both on campus and off. Faculty in the program recognize that environmental science is a complex field, involving both science as well as public policy and ethics. Therefore, students in the program engage with community leaders and learn how to establish grassroots support for efforts that sustain and conserve.

Students who pursue an environmental major at Catawba have the ability to do everything from teach children about the causes of air pollution and ways of improving it to working as interns in municipal government or non-profit organizations that champion land conservation or simply want to lessen their environmental footprint. This gives Catawba graduates a real leg up when they interview for jobs.

Catawba’s Center for the Environment is a key resource that sets the institution’s environmental programs apart. For two decades, the center has played a key leadership role in conservation efforts in the region and the state. By partnering with organizations such as the Land Trust for Central North Carolina, the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, the North Carolina Solar Center and Horizons Unlimited Environmental Education Center, Catawba’s Center for the Environment promotes sustainability, awareness and implementation of new initiatives like solar energy, hydrail, and clean air. The Center for the Environment also offers a N.C. Green School Certification program that allows Catawba students to work directly with green school teams in K-12 schools to implement initiatives that move those schools farther down the path to sustainability and environmental awareness.

The Center for the Environment also references the facility that houses the program offerings and was one of the first “green” buildings constructed in the state in 2001. The 21,000-square-foot facility reflects the spirit of the environment and sustainability program and is itself an exciting teaching tool as well as an environmentally sound project. Adjacent to this building is a 189-acre ecological preserve where students can conduct unique and intense hands-on research. The preserve contains diverse wetland habitats with over 150 species of birds found within its boundaries during various times of the year. Catawba was the first college in the state and possibly one of the first in the nation to place property on its campus — the ecological preserve — in a permanent conservation easement with a land trust.

New students to Catawba interested in pursuing an environmental major and obtaining one of the new $10,000 per year scholarships should begin the process by submitting a free application for admission online at www.catawba.edu/apply.

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