Sierra Ranks Cornell Fifth Among ‘Coolest’ Schools

Cornell emphasizes environmental responsibility...

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By Blaine Friedlander via the Cornell Chronicle, 8/14/13

Siddharth Ramshankar (Eng '11) uses pedal power to light a series of light bulbs during Earth Day activities(Jason Koski/University Photography)
Siddharth Ramshankar (Eng '11) uses pedal power to light a series of light bulbs during Earth Day activities(Jason Koski/University Photography)

Young minds may preserve our future: For the first time, Cornell University ranked fifth among Sierra magazine’s Ten Coolest Schools in the country, earning that spot for the environmental mindset on campus.

Woven together, curriculum and sustainability are inextricably linked. Sierra, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, cited more than 300 classes where Cornell students can learn about sustainability, as the editors explain that Cornell is one of the few colleges where students can minor in climate change.

Nevin Welcome Center -Cornell Plantations (Jason Koski/University Photography )
Nevin Welcome Center-LEED certified gold building-Cornell Plantations (Jason Koski/University Photography )

“A single class or professor can turn a life verdant,” writes Sierra lifestyle editor Avital Andrews. “Spending four years in a place that grows its own organic food, runs on alternative energy, composts, limits cars and pursues goals like carbon neutral or zero-waste leaves an imprint.”

The Sierra editors noted that Cornell greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 25 percent and that about $45 million will go toward energy conservation projects. The editors mentioned the two gorgeous gorges running through campus, and the 35-acre Botanical Garden at Cornell Plantations and the 100-acre Floyd R. Newman Arboretum – effectively setting the life stage for environmental appreciation.

Dilum Hill
Dilmun Hill Student Farm

Cornell was the only New York state school in the top 10. Other New York schools included: Colgate (No. 37), the Rochester Institute of Technology (No. 59), Ithaca College (No. 67), Hobart and William Smith Colleges (No. 73), Bard College (No. 86) and University at Albany (No. 87) Of the Ivy League schools, Harvard (No. 15), the University of Pennsylvania (No. 42) and Princeton (No. 68) made it into the top 100.

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