SEI@10: Celebrating Our Friends

May 14, 2015


More than 150 partners, donors, and community members joined in the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 10th Anniversary celebration on May 7. Panoramic views of the Boston skyline and Charles River set the scene at a beautiful venue generously provided by Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The gathering honored all those who have collaborated in advancing SEI’s pioneering work since 2005.


Special guest speaker Adam Gardner offered a unique perspective. Well-known as guitarist and vocalist of Guster, Adam also serves as director and co-founder of Reverb, a nonprofit engaging musicians, their fans, and the music industry to take action for the environment. Adam shared his experiences since 2007 on the Campus Consciousness tour to more than 30 colleges across the country. Partnering with SEI and other green groups, Guster is inspiring and activating students by uniting music with environmental activism.


Keynote speaker, David Brancaccio, host of public radio’s Marketplace Morning Report, spoke about the importance of acting now on climate change. He also raised the threat of hyperbolic discounting, calling for the climate movement to fully make a shift. David reflected on lessons learned from a few of his most memorable interviews: discussing with a wise woman on a Himalayan mountaintop the ominous implications of glacial retreat and interviewing Kurt Vonnegut, whose joy in group solidarity overrode his gloomy view of world trends.


SEI’s Executive Director, Mark Orlowski, thanked participants for their support, encouragement, and feedback over the last decade. The audience toasted to the Institute’s impact, from its first College Sustainability Report Card in 2007 to more recent reports chronicling innovative sustainability trends on North American campuses. Mark highlighted current SEI projects including the rise of green revolving funds and the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) 1.1, a game-changing web platform to help institutions track and seamlessly share detailed project data on energy, financial and carbon-emissions savings.

11165326_965702900131218_3243349743321524874_nThe evening was filled with many memorable moments, from reuniting with old colleagues, meeting new friends with shared interests, and hearing the inspiring remarks by national leaders David Brancaccio and Adam Gardner. These activities highlighted SEI’s track record over the past decade creating innovative collaborations that generate fresh ideas and push the sustainability envelope.

We look forward to carrying on that tradition with your support, now and into the next ten years.


Mark, Em and the whole SEI Team