Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-04-20

Samford University will observe Earth Day with a three-day schedule of events April 21-23. A unique display will underscore the many reams of paper that has been saved by an innovative printing initiative at the school.


A pyramid of 82 empty boxes on Ben Brown Plaza will represent the 410,682 pieces of paper saved on campus during February and March after a new print management initiative began earlier this year.  The display is part of a “Living Green” information fair on the plaza Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The goal of the Responsible Printing Initiative for computer labs and libraries, leaders say, was to reduce the amount of paper used for printing by students and others while meeting all appropriate needs.

“The benefit,” said Samford vice president for business and financial affairs Harry B. Brock III, “is better stewardship of our environment and lower operating costs for the university.”

The paper saved during the two months represents more than $2,800 in cost savings to Samford, compared  to the same period last year, according to personal technology director Frank Martin, who oversees the on-going project.

Earth Day events also include a showing of a documentary, Cane Toads: An Unnatural History, on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Samford’s Christenberry Planetarium.

Chris Oberholster, director of The Nature Conservancy, Alabama chapter, will speak Thursday at 3 p.m. in the planetarium. He will discuss the group’s recent efforts to acquire privately-owned wild lands for public use.

Dr. Scot Duncan, associate professor of biology and urban environmental studies at Birmingham-Southern College, will speak Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the planetarium. His topic will be “Biodiversity in Alabama.”

The public is invited to any of the events.

Samford is among 34 area businesses and non-profit institutions recognized by Birmingham Business Alliance for its green initiatives. The companies were cited for voluntarily taking environmentally responsible, yet simple, steps in areas such as recycling water products, conserving energy and other efforts.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.