We Were Searching for the Greenest Campus and Trinity Won!



(Editor's note: In honor of Earth Week, we are sharing an essay by a family that chose Trinity University because of its commitment to sustainability.)

by Jill and Mary Cooper --

In 2013, we were on the circuit tour of university campuses in search for the best match for our daughter. Lindsey always had a passion for the environment and the protection of natural resources, and as her parents, we wanted to foster that appreciation. It quickly became apparent that the campus she chose would not only have to be of high academic quality, but to also be the greenest campus possible.

Our first steps on Trinity University's grounds led us to the stream of recycled water that flowed throughout the middle of campus. As we toured various buildings, Lindsey pointed out the plaques stating LEED certifications. She immediately explained to us that LEED certifications required stringent criteria given to projects that exhibited “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”

Additionally, at every turn we were happy to discover recycling bins next to trash cans for sorting and collecting not only garbage but recyclables. Although not every prospective student and parent probably notices these things, we were immediately drawn to them! Knowing that Trinity supports sustainability issues and is on the forefront of research to advance that study was, and continues to be, most impressive.

Mary Cooper, Lindsey Yazbek, and Jill Cooper celebrate Lindsey's "Unsung Hero" Award.

In Lindsey’s first year she joined SOS (Students for Sustainability) and jumped right into furthering her interests. Promoting the sustainable garden, enhancing recycling issues, and studying geosciences and environmental studies was the perfect trifecta for our “green inclined” daughter. The following year she became co-president of the student organization. We were proud of the direction she took in leading the renamed organization, Eco Allies, with sponsored displays, demonstrations, and work on campus promoting sustainability.

The faculty and staff at Trinity were and continue to be supportive of those efforts as she was given the “green” light on all proposed ideas and requests. Lindsey was even able to work with professors on research with reclaimed and recycled water and its value. The epitome of all that hard work combined with her passion culminated this month when she was named the recipient of the “Unsung Hero Award” in honor of her work in sustainability at Trinity. This most green campus was certainly the best fit for our greenest daughter.

About Jill and Mary Cooper

Jill and Mary reside in Buda, Texas, outside Austin. They have had similar career paths. Both are retired kindergarten teachers from the Austin Independent School District, each with 30 years’ experience in the classroom. Mary is currently employed as an administrative assistant for an aerospace engineering firm in Kyle, Texas, and is also a professional scorer for nationwide student standardized testing. Jill is a part-time tutor in reading and math for fourth and fifth grade students in Austin, and also drives for a local ridesharing company (Ride/Austin) in her spare time.

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