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President's Environmental Challenge Grant

The first VWC environmental challenge grant was announced in fall 2006 to promote the implementation of environmental initiatives on campus.

The grant was just one piece of an overall campus sustainability initiative, designed to heighten awareness of environmental issues among Virginia Wesleyan's faculty, staff and students and to make Virginia Wesleyan a more environmentally-friendly place.

The $2,500 grant is the prize for the winning applicant(s). The PEIC believes that any winning grant should be worth the College funding and should save enough to make the investment worthwhile. President Greer assigned the President's Environmental Issues Council to be responsible for awarding the grant.

Criteria for proposals

Proposals are accepted from any member of the campus community (students, staff and/or faculty) and can also come from groups of people, with the prize money split among the members of the winning team.

Proposals should be no more than three pages in length, and must include the following:

  • Name of the Applicant(s)
  • Brief Project Description
  • Implementation Plan
  • Proposed Budget
  • Environmental Benefits to the Campus
  • Cost Savings to the Campus (if any)
  • Potential Impact on the Campus Culture (if any)
  • Types of Campus Involvement (students, staff, faculty, etc.)

The above criteria will be used by members of the selection committee to evaluate the proposals, so applicants would do well to at least consider all of the above issues. A good proposal can be implemented, would have clear environmental benefits, may provide a cost savings, and should engage or educate some or all of the campus community concerning environmental issues.

Submit a proposal

Proposals will be accepted annually. The grant is awarded at Virginia Wesleyan's Honors Convocation held on the last Friday in April.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to Bruce F. Vaughan, Co-chairman of the President's Environmental Issues Council, at  Any questions about the grant can also be directed to Mr. Vaughan.

Grant recipients

The 2007 President's Environmental Challenge Grant, the first grant of its kind, was awarded to Mr. Philip Guilfoyle, associate professor of art.

The selection committee, select members of the President's Environmental Issues Council, unanimously decided that Mr. Guilfoyle should be the first recipient of the President's Environmental Challenge Grant for his proposal to work with his students to build a solar thermal heat exchanger to heat the ceramics lab using solar power.

The committee was especially impressed by the creativity of this project and the ways that it sought to improve energy efficiency, save money, involve students and link environmental ideas across the liberal arts.

Since that time, the awards have been spread across campus.

Kathy Bartkus, Physical Plant, Protecting the Arboretum and Lake Taylor.

Odessa Knipp and John Burkhart, Students, Butterfly Garden

Phil Rock, Associate Professor of Biology, Worm Farm

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