At the first independent Institute of the Environment commencement held on Sunday, June 13, 2010, IoE Director Glen MacDonald officially announced The Pritzker Fund for Environment and Sustainability Education. This significant gift from Tony Pritzker has been established to enhance the Institute of the Environment’s academic programs and will help support teaching and curriculum development. Education is a central component of IoE’s mission – to tackle the most challenging environment and sustainability problems and provide solutions.
As recently reported by UCLA Today and National Public Radio, IoE has one the fastest growing majors on campus. The IoE’s interdisciplinary approach to environmentally focused instruction enables our students to study a broad range of topics: climate change, pollution, air and water quality, alternative energy and clean technology, ecosystems and biodiversity, conservation, environmental engineering, economics and policy, public health and sustainability. IoE is producing the next generation of professional leadership committed to the health of our planet. It is critical to maintain a vibrant learning environment that empowers students and faculty.
Judi Smith, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at UCLA’s College of Letters and Sciences stated, “The Pritzker Fund for Environment and Sustainability Education to UCLA’s Institute of the Environment comes at a time when education about these issues is critical to our global society. The Institute has established one of the fastest growing programs for undergraduate majors and minors, and having new funds to develop curriculum and meaningful internship experiences—at a time when state funds for education are diminishing—is essential. This is a tremendous gift for our students and faculty.”
As Chair of the IoE Advisory Board, Tony Pritzker has already played a substantial role in the development of the Institute. This gift demonstrates a commitment to offering an outstanding educational experience that will lead students to a successful transition into the professional realm of environmental advocacy.
IoE’s Academic Director Cully Nordby noted, “This is really a major gift to our students. Our capacity to offer courses has been diminished due to state budget cuts and now we will be able to continue to support our popular environmental science major that continues to grow.”
She continued, “The environmental science major is an important component of the IoE’s overall mission to educate tomorrow’s environmental leaders. With this gift, Mr. Pritzker has ensured that these students will be getting the best education possible here at UCLA.”