John Wegner’s computer screen saver is a picture of Lullwater—the view from the president’s driveway, to be precise.

Wegner loves Lullwater. He likes this particular photo especially, he says, because it has both a sugar maple—the symbol of Canada, where he lived for twenty-five years—and a magnolia, native to Georgia, his home now.

This level of attention to foliage might offer a clue as to why Wegner, senior lecturer in environmental studies, was recently appointed by President William M. Chace as Emory’s first campus environmental officer.

“The simple fact of the matter is,” says Chace, “that no one at Emory knows the natural environment of the campus better. He passionately cares for it, and no one could serve it more vigilantly than John as its steward.”

This new appointment, the first of its kind at a university Georgia, is a direct response to a recommendation made by a special task force created to help implement the University’s Environmental Mission Statement. Among other suggestions, the task force asked that someone be responsible for keeping track of all activities connected with environmental maintenance and sustainability at Emory. Although Wegner will be specifically joining the Facilities Management Division in addition to maintaining his lecturer position, he will work with groups across campus, from the Alternative Transportation Program to Friends of Emory Forest.

“My job is to coordinate and integrate all of the great environmental things that Emory currently does, plus fill in some of the gaps,” says Wegner, who served on the task force and has long been an advocate for the environment at Emory. “I really will become a clearinghouse for environmental matters on campus. For example, before, if somebody saw a stream on campus that was not the color it should be, there was nobody to phone, nobody to go and see. One of my roles is to at least be the person to talk to.”

Wegner’s appointment is just one element of the University’s overall commitment to keeping Emory’s environment green and healthy, and he hopes to serve as a resource for other institutions considering similar steps. To view Emory’s Environmental Mission Statement, go to—P.P.P.



© 2003 Emory University