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At the turn of the 20th century, the first president of the University, Dr. Edwin Lewis Stephens, hand-planted a grove of live oak trees.  Now known as the Twentieth-Century Oaks, these majestic trees envelope the edge of campus with strength, stability, and steadfastness.  Stephens later founded the Live Oak Society, a preservation association across 14 states with over 7,000 protected live oak trees.

The University has been committed to the stewardship of our natural environment since its founding.  This long-standing environmental ethic supports the University’s mission to explore solutions to national and world issues through instruction, research, service, and exemplary leadership.  It is this responsibility that motivates the University’s sustainability initiative.

The Office of Sustainability formed from a grassroots movement in 2010 by our passionate students to implement a recycling program on campus. University President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie created the President’s Council on Sustainability in 2011 to guide the University’s efforts and to integrate environmental sustainability into campus life. 

President Savoie later charged the committee in 2013 to develop a sustainability policy that would define a vision for long-term sustainability at the University, and would describe the necessary steps for implementing such a vision. At the start of 2014, the University’s first Director of Sustainability was hired to work with the committee in formalizing the University’s sustainability efforts, actively engaging our students, and further expanding our community outreach efforts.

During the summer of 2014, the University Council approved the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's first Comprehensive Sustainability Policy.

The university takes an integrated approach to achieving campus sustainability that includes:

  • Curriculum
  • Research
  • Procurement through Disposal Practices
  • Operational Procedures & Practices
  • Master Planning & Facilities
  • Project Based Learning Opportunities