St. Mary's College News Briefs

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Signs American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge

St. Mary’s College of Maryland has joined more than 200 universities and colleges in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge.

The pledge, sponsored by the White House, demonstrates support for strong climate action as world leaders take up the issue during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change now underway in Paris.

The pledge calls the college to:

• Promote renewable energy by educating the campus and surrounding community about climate action, and determine innovative opportunities to incorporate climate neutrality and resilience into the infrastructure and operations of the college and the region.

• Expand the college’s ability to produce on-campus renewable energy with the installation of a geothermal system and a solar array as part of the new academic building currently under construction.

• Make energy efficiency a priority within campus operations by investing in energy efficient buildings, systems, and products that will save energy and money over their lifetimes.

• Increase campus and community knowledge about sustainable waste management by promoting behavior that prioritizes the diversion of waste from landfills to recycling stations and compost operations, including the college’s on-campus compost system.

Signing the pledge underscores St. Mary’s College’s history of initiatives to mitigate and reduce the impact of climate change on campus and beyond. In 2008, former president Dr. Jane Margaret O’Brien signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) uniting higher education leaders in efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate their campuses’ greenhouse gas emissions. The commitment was renewed in 2011.

Most recently, in January 2015, the college was recognized for its efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). St. Mary’s College appeared on the agency’s “Top 30 College & University” list representing the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership.

The college has also been consistently ranked as one of the top environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada by The Princeton Review.

Learn more about the college’s green initiatives at

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Named a ‘Best Value’ Public College by Kiplinger

St. Mary’s College of Maryland has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the Top Best College Values of 2016. St. Mary’s College is ranked among the top 100 on the list of best values in public colleges for both in-state and out-of-state value.

Introduced in 1998, Kiplinger’s rankings highlight public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost. St. Mary’s College has been consistently named to the list since its beginning.

Kiplinger assesses value by measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

“We start with a universe of 1,200 schools, so each school on our rankings, from number one to number 300, is a best value,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Families can use the list as a starting point and then tailor it to each student’s preference for such things as size, location, campus culture and major.”

The complete rankings are now available online at and will appear in print in the February 2016 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 5.

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