Sustainability in the City

Boston University Alumni College 2011

Alumni College to Debut in June

Inaugural event will focus on sustainability

Attention all alumni: BU is offering you a chance to go back to class—without the grades and the term papers.

The Boston University Alumni Association (BUAA) is hosting its first Alumni College, a weekend-long educational experience, June 10–12. The subject is Sustainability in the City, and it will explore what it means to live sustainably and how that decision affects all aspects of life.

Faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences and beyond will conduct lectures, field trips, lab experiments, and class discussions on a range of topics, from sustainable food and renewable energy to environmental health and ecological footprints.

Alumni College is an outgrowth of an annual Alumni Weekend program that offers an array of hourlong courses led by expert BU faculty. The new program is open to all alums.

“A following of folks enjoyed getting their feet wet, but wanted to get immersed in this type of offering,” says Caitlan Nee, assistant director of alumni educational programs.

The goal behind Alumni College, which will be an annual event, is to take immersion to a new level. Each day begins with a selection of electives—among them Climate Change and the City and The City from Space—followed by interactive events or a sustainability-themed expedition around Boston. Among these are a walking tour of Arnold Arboretum and an ecofriendly bike tour of Boston. Friday’s events are capped with a sunset cruise and lecture about Boston’s waterfront, while Saturday evening is left open for alumni to explore the city.

Alumni have the option of staying on campus, in the StuVi1 student residence, for the three-day weekend. The program’s cost is $449 per person for those who choose BU housing and $325 for commuters. Alumni College promises to be an intimate experience, with organizers hoping to limit the program to no more than 50 people.

“It really appeals to a vast number of learners,” Nee says.

Learn more about Alumni College here, and register for the program by Wednesday, June 1, here. The deadline to register for housing is Friday, May 27.

Originally published in the Daily Free Press. Leslie Friday can be reached at

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