Gray Notes™ Grants Awarded to The University of Georgia and Presidio Graduate School

The University of Georgia – Watershed UGA

The University of Georgia has received a renewal Gray Notes Grant for the Watershed UGA program.  With the Foundation’s first grant in 2015, the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology created a vision and framework for using campus watersheds as a living laboratory to advance sustainability through teaching, research, public service and university operations.  The Watershed UGA curriculum has been taught in 56 classes, reaching thousands of students in classrooms across 13 colleges on campus, including: engineering, law, biological and physical sciences, technology, English composition and the arts.

The Foundation’s funding and the program’s success has also led to additional funding opportunities for faculty submitted proposals totaling over $2.5 million to sources such as the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Two other foundations have also awarded $215,000 for the restoration of Lake Herrick after the Watershed UGA campus awareness campaigns funded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Those campaigns highlighted the plight of Lake Herrick, a campus lake that has been closed to swimming since 2002 due to poor water quality.  That project was even highlighted in UGA President Jere Morehead’s 2016 State of the University Address when he said the Lake Herrick restoration project “is creating new avenues for sustainability research and education.”

The Foundation’s renewal grant to Watershed UGA will be used to build capacity to sustain the program by developing additional classroom content, developing a web-based database of existing and future water quality and flow data, and teaching faculty to integrate Watershed UGA into their research and use it as a leverage point for additional funding.  A major highlight of the 2016 grant will also be the first phase of a “daylighting” campaign using art, signage and landscaping to create awareness of the many underground streams that flow through the UGA campus.

Presidio Graduate School

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has also awarded a renewal Gray Notes Grant to Presidio Graduate School (PGS) to continue two programs that were funded and initiated by our first Gray Notes Grant in 2015.

In 2015, PGS created the Ray C. Anderson Circle as a means for evolving the Integrated Capstone course into a more robust program, modeled on a true business accelerator.  Eleven Inaugural Circle members have been recruited.  These 11 Bay Area entrepreneurs and investors have eagerly shared their time, expertise and networks with PGS students and alumni and they have already hosted two events, as well as participated as guest lecturers and mentors, offering a minimum of eight hours per term.

The 2016 renewal grant will enable PGS to improve and expand the Capstone page on the school’s website so that it can continue to attract supporters and other interested applicants for the Ray C. Anderson Circle.

Additionally, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s 2015 grant to PGS created a scholarship program called the Ray C. Anderson “Industrial Revolutionaries” Scholarship for incoming students who have demonstrated extraordinary interest and/or aptitude in the areas that Ray Anderson cared about most deeply, including industrial ecology, green design, circular economy, biomimicry and other sustainable business strategies.  Two potential scholarship recipients have already been identified.

The Foundation’s 2016 grant will enable PGS to ensure that the scholarship will become a permanent part of the school’s scholarship portfolio.