From The President
An opportunity to invest in campus solar energy
I write to you from a seminary campus that has just passed the mid-point of the fall term. In this issue of Campus View you will get a brief glimpse of campus activity. Many of you were here for Alumni Day, when we celebrated Mount Award recipients, heard from Dr. Eberhart and Dr. Van Meter, and installed our new dean, Dr. Lisa Withrow. It was a wonderful day. You can also read about several upcoming events and about a recent graduate who has taken an unexpected turn as she moves into ministry.
The MTSO strategic plan that was adopted in 2008 includes an Identity and Purpose statement which concludes with a phrase referencing our “commitment to a just and sustainable world.” As you know, after several years of taking important incremental steps with the academic programs and the physical campus, last year we took a big leap of faith in our ecology and theology commitment by starting Seminary Hill Farm. It has raised energy on campus as well as our profile in the world around us. I have been asked about next steps in our sustainability work as well as about ways to support the work. I have a response and a proposal.
While we continue to encourage annual fund giving and scholarship support, we have a bid to install a grid-tied solar electric (photovoltaic) array on campus that will generate 16.2 kilowatts of electricity and thus reduce our dependence on conventional electric service. Like many things at the school, as well as in our churches, this project will have both practical and symbolic value. Due to current construction incentives, we can get a good price if we move now.
I am attaching an aerial Google campus photo that shows the proposed placement of the array. If you click this link or the picture, you'll see a much larger version. We believe we have selected a location that allows the substance and symbolism of our commitment to be visible without being obtrusive.
We have identified current funds to offset some construction costs so that a per-panel price for sixty 270-watt panels will be $750. This provides an opportunity to get a lot of people on board with a meaningful project - either with a single $750 payment or three annual $250 payments. In the hopes that some of you will be among the first to participate by giving a panel, I am offering this link to a special donation page. I invite you to consider responding in the next few days.
To get things started, my wife, Kristen, and I will commit to matching the first 30 panels for a total of 60 panels. Thank you for considering an investment in this next step toward campus sustainability at MTSO.