A marketing capstone class at Georgia State University (GSU) chose the Ray C. Anderson Foundation as their marketing client for the Spring 2013 semester, and hosted a very successful RayDay@GSU event on April 4th at the Rialto Center for the Arts on the GSU campus.
The goals for the class were to promote the foundation and raise awareness about sustainability on campus. The 25 senior marketing majors that participated had hopes of promoting the importance of environmental conservation, and thereby engaging students and faculty to make positive changes that could help GSU join the ranks of leading institutions across the country that are integrating sustainability into their culture, operations, and curricula.
The event, which was attended by more than 200 students, faculty members and Atlanta business leaders was inspiring and educating, leaving many attendees anxious to go out and make a positive impact through their own actions.
The event featured highlights from Ray Anderson’s life and legacy and three engaging guest speakers that brought excitement and hope to students interested in pursuing careers focused on sustainable business. Speakers at the event were Laura Turner Seydel, national environmental advocate and eco-living expert, Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability initiatives and adjunct professor, Emory University, and Bill Strang, president, Americas operations, TOTO USA, Inc.
Three more experts from the Atlanta business community joined the guest speakers for a panel discussion, and a networking luncheon followed in the Rialto lobby.
“We are pleased with how our partnership with GSU has evolved,” said Harriet Langford, Foundation Trustee. “The GSU marketing majors have been able to help us find new ways to promote the Foundation’s goals as it continues to grow, and we have been able to share our knowledge to help them make important connections with their peers relating to sustainability.”
One of the first initiatives to emerge following the event was a petition to Sodexo, the campus food services provider, urging them to offer more sustainable and healthy food packaging options in an effort to limit plastic and Styrofoam waste. The students are asking all who are interested to sign the petition.
Two of the marketing students also wrote their own story about the class partnership with the Foundation. Click here to read their story.
In addition to the RayDay@GSU event, the students also hosted the Brighten Your Corner Competition for GSU students. The competition consists of three categories: Writing, Visual Art, and Video, allowing students to express what sustainability and environmental awareness mean to them, as well as their vision for further integrating sustainability into the culture and practices at GSU.
First place winners in each category will receive a $500 scholarship to GSU and prizes will also be awarded to the first runner up in each category.
The competition closed on April 4th, and the winners will be announced in May.