Volume 80, Issue 3
September 5, 2008

Hybrid Prius Donated to WC by Anonymous Board Member

By Natalie Butz

Elm Staff Writer

A second generation Toyota Prius was donated recently to the Director of the Center for Environment and Society by a Board of Visitors and Governors member, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“I think the person who donated [the car] thought it would be a nice idea if the Director of the Center for Environment and Society was driving an environmentally-friendly car,” said President Baird Tipson.

According to Toyota’s website, the second generation of the Prius gets better gas mileage than the first, and its Hybrid Synergy Drive allows the car to emit 90 percent fewer tailpipe pollutants than a conventional combustion engine.

John Seidel, the Director of the Center for Environment and Society said the new car will not only be convenient when driving to meetings and events, but also sends out a good message.

“When working towards sustainability on campus, it really makes a difference to be able to practice what we preach, but our budget would never have allowed us to make such a purchase,” said Seidel.

This donation is the latest effort of WC’s George Goes Green Campaign. According to the Center for Environment and Society’s newsletter, efforts of the campaign include “composting, recycling, using environmentally-friendly products, eating locally grown foods, landscaping with native plant materials and lobbying for the design and construction of green buildings that consume less energy, use non-toxic materials and produce less waste than traditional buildings.”

The contribution of the new car will help the Center further its efforts to reduce its negative ecological footprint.

Soon after this donation was made, Tipson decided to buy a Prius of his own. “The car that I had been driving had about 60,000 miles on it and I thought it was time to get a new one,” said Tipson.

He added that, “It’s very eco-friendly in terms of the amount of gas it uses. When I drove up to a meeting on Saturday, I got 57 miles per gallon.”

Meanwhile, the Center is very appreciative of the unexpected donation. “Although I don’t know who made the donation of the Prius, I’d really like to shake his or her hand and express our thanks!” said Seidel. “This is a remarkably generous gift, and all of us at the Center for Environment & Society are grateful.”