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Mason Makes It to Finest Four in Environmental March Madness

April 2, 2013

By Beth Pullias

Even though March Madness is coming to a close, the madness continues with George Mason University moving on to the “Finest Four” in Environmental March Madness. The tournament, hosted by the green IT company Enviance, is a competition to find the most sustainable university in the country.

George Mason advanced from the “Sustainable 16” to the “Environmental Eight” last week based on an invitation to submit a survey of sustainability-related academic offerings and operational commitments, along with a second round of supplementary essays, videos, and photos submitted by students and faculty to Enviance’s Facebook page. Mason submitted videos, 265 photos and several essays by students and faculty members, including Mason President Ángel Cabrera.

One of the videos prepared for the competition features Gunston

Making the Finest Four is a sign that Mason has gained a national reputation for our campus-wide commitment to environmental sustainability,” explains Andrew Wingfield, sustainability studies fellow.

“We advanced to this point not just because of our great sustainability programs in academics and operations, but also because the Mason community did such a great job of showcasing what we do in words and pictures.  A big bunch of Patriots helped convince the tournament judges that we deserve recognition as one of the greenest universities in the country.”

Mason advanced from the “Environmental Eight” to the “Finest Four” based on evaluations from a panel of judges from leading environmental nonprofits, top media and education publications and large for-profit companies specific to sustainable business operations.

Another video showing how Mason goes green

The next step is to narrow down from the “Finest Four” to the “National Champion.”

Mason is up against sustainability rivals Colorado State University, Ohio State University and University of Washington.

The tournament’s “National Champion” will win a $5,000 grant and one all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego for a faculty member to attend and speak at the Enviance User Conference in April. Two students from the “Finest Four” will be awarded Google Nexus tablets.

The “National Champion” will be announced on Tuesday, April 9.