Mount Holyoke College Announces the Naming of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment

Posted: March 23, 2010

Leslie Anne Miller '73 (right) and her husband Richard Worley have made a five-million-dollar endowed gift to support environmental education and programming at Mount Holyoke College and to inspire other leadership gifts for this purpose.

In recognition of this generous gift, the school's Center for the Environment, established in 1998, will be named the Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Center for the Environment.

The gift will be used to strengthen the Center for the Environment, environmental education, green campus initiatives, and scholarships and internships for students in environmental science or closely related fields at the leading liberal arts college. Specifically, the gift will be allocated for a new interdisciplinary professorship in environmental policy; for an endowment to support the center’s public programs and curricular and cocurricular efforts; and for an endowed fund to support student internships and faculty-advised research experiences involving environmental issues.

"This is an exceptional occasion for Mount Holyoke College," said President Joanne V. Creighton. “Leslie and Richard's gift recognizes Mount Holyoke's commitment to taking the lead in environmental science and environmental progress both on campus and within the Five Colleges, and around the world. And it demonstrates the level of support alumnae and friends of the College have for this institution and its work on the most critical matters of our time."

Miller, current chair of the board of trustees, and her husband Richard Worley have a longstanding commitment to the environment. Their gift was made as part of the College's $300 million comprehensive campaign, The Campaign for Mount Holyoke.

"Richard and I are honored to play a part in the Center for the Environment's influence in the life of the College," Miller said. “We believe that this gift will position Mount Holyoke as a leader in environmental studies and advocacy and help the College fulfill its mission to educate its students to grapple with current pressing concerns,” said Miller, who is also a Campaign cochair. “Richard and I see this gift as central to the College’s evolving curriculum that fuses academic rigor with purposeful engagement with real issues.”

The Center for the Environment is dedicated to engaging MHC students more actively in the scientific, social/human, and global dimensions of environmental study.

The center enables students to make connections across disciplines, across points of view, and across structures that help them understand the concept of "environment" more broadly in their work, community, and lives.

“This generous gift will allow the Center for the Environment to provide more unique and rich opportunities—both academic and experiential—for Mount Holyoke students to explore the relationship between humans and the natural world," said Tim Farnham, the Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Center for the Environment. "It also positions Mount Holyoke as a leader among liberal arts colleges for environmental programming and initiatives that will effectively extend beyond our campus and make a difference in the larger environmental community.”

Members of the Mount Holyoke community will gather the weekend of October 29-30, 2010 to celebrate the official dedication of the Miller Worley Center. Program highlights will include seminars with faculty and students on issues related to the environment.

Mount Holyoke College has an ever-growing commitment to being a green campus. The College is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of campus operations and student life on campus. While all community members play a role in this effort, students who call MHC home for much of the year play the most significant role in greening Mount Holyoke.

The College is actively working to make progress in a number of areas including: energy and climate change, waste reduction and recycling, green building, responsible land management, water conservation, and hazardous materials management.

Launched in October 2006, The Campaign for Mount Holyoke has a number of priorities that are informed by the Plan for Mount Holyoke 2010, a comprehensive strategy developed under President Joanne V. Creighton for maintaining continued educational excellence in this era of global challenge. Central to the plan is support for the Center for Environment and three other academic centers established in recent years: the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts, the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, and the Science Center. These centers connect the classroom to the world and engage students and faculty directly in leadership and public service, environmental sustainability, the impact of globalization, and the transformations being created by rapid developments in science and technology.

A complete breakout of Campaign priorities is as follows: endowment goal, $175 million; Annual Fund goal for current operating use, $50 million; facilities goal for the new residence hall and athletic facilities, $25 million; and special projects and programs goal, $50 million.

Related Links:

Leslie Ann Miller Trustee Profile

Miller Worley Center for the Environment

The Campaign for Mount Holyoke

Springfield Republican