Sustainability Expert to Speak at College’s CURES Inaugural Event

David W. Orr was instrumental in the design of a top green building on a college campus.

The Manhattan College Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES) will host its inaugural event on Tuesday, Feb. 5 featuring a lecture by nationally renowned sustainability expert David W. Orr, Ph.D. CURES launched last fall as a way to further promote the importance of urban sustainability and environmental justice within the academic community, and Orr will present a lecture titled Resilience in a Black Swan World.

Orr became prominent for his leadership in facilitating plans to design, fund and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, starting with construction in 1998. Considered one of the “milestone buildings” of the 20th century by the U.S. 

Department of Energy, the building meets all LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, and also was named “the most important green building of the past thirty years” by a panel from the American Institute of Architects in 2010.

“Having David Orr speak at our CURES inaugural event is a real privilege,” said Jeffrey Myers, Ph.D., director of CURES and associate professor of English. “Dr. Orr is a nationally recognized thought leader on sustainability issues, and having him on our campus is a great opportunity for students, faculty and the community to hear from one of the preeminent figures in this field.”

Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College and is senior adviser to the president of Oberlin. In addition, he is the executive director of The Oberlin Project, a plan that began in 2009 to create a green arts district within a 13-acre block stretch in the town of Oberlin, Ohio. By incorporating green features from the Adam Joseph Lewis Environmental Studies Center, Oberlin College joined forces with the city to provide the leadership and support to rebuild the area. Read more about The Oberlin Project in a 2011 alumni article by Orr.

A frequent lecturer at colleges and universities around the world, Orr is also the author of seven books, including Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (2009), and co-editor of three others. He has written nearly 200 articles, reviews, book chapters and professional publications, and is a founding editor of the journal Solutions. He has been awarded seven honorary degrees and a dozen other awards, including a Lyndhurst Prize, a National Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and recently a Visionary Leadership Award from Second Nature.

The Feb. 5 event with Orr will start at 7 p.m. in Smith Auditorium and is open to the public.

For more information about the CURES event, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Myers by phone at (718) 862-7252 or by email at jeffrey.myers@manhattan.edu.