Campus Updates

Visit the Campus Updates page for information on Mount Holyoke’s response to the global pandemic. The Opening the Gates website contains the plan for the spring semester.

Sustainability Planning

Students working on a restoration project

In January 2017, then-Acting President Sonya Stephens created the Sustainability Task Force in as part of The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021. In her announcement of the task force, Stephens highlighted the College’s commitment “to address climate change, evaluate current progress on sustainability, and identify future opportunities to pursue more progressive actions related to campus sustainability and our environmental curriculum.” She also underscored the connections between initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion and environmental sustainability. The task force included members of the faculty, staff and students from various departments and offices from across campus. After community review, the recommendations of the task force were presented to the Board of Trustees in October 2017.  

In January 2018, the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College endorsed the overarching goals of the College’s Sustainability Task Force. Among these was becoming a carbon-neutral campus by 2037, Mount Holyoke’s bicentennial. The Sustainability Steering Committee was formed in April 2018 in order to develop a three-to-five year plan to implement the task force’s recommendations. These recommendations include:  

  • Make policy recommendations
  • Identify areas that need additional planning and research
  • Identify minimal-cost items for short-term implementation
  • Identify priority projects to propose to the Capital Projects Committee
  • Recommend methods to cultivate a culture of campus sustainability.  

Sustainability Steering Committee




Shannon Gurek, vice president for finance and administration
Marcella Runell Hall, vice president for student life and dean of students
Lenore Reilly, senior advisor to the president and secretary of the College
Naomi Darling, Five College assistant professor of sustainable architecture
Alan Werner, professor of geology
Catarina Costa, associate dean, Office of Admission
Keith Michel, executive director for leadership gifts, Office of Advancement
Sasha Nyary, senior news writer and copy editor, Office of Communications and Marketing
Rick Bigelow, associate director and chief engineer, facilities management
Paul Breen, executive director of facilities management 
Rich Perna, director, dining services
Heather Tetrault, Staff Council chair
Carl Weber, associate director of capital planning and budget, facilities management
Carey Lang ’15, assistant director, Miller Worley Center for the Environment
Claire Lunnetta, ’20, eco-rep coordinator, Miller Worley Center for the Environment

Please submit ideas for making Mount Holyoke a greener campus. Email Sustainability with comments and suggestions.