Pitzer College in Claremont is developing a new program to promote environmental studies — and it will be named for the Sundance Kid.
The Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability is funded by the single largest donation in Pitzer’s history. Billionaire investor Nicholas Pritzker and his wife Susan — she's a longtime trustee at the school — contributed $10 million to establish the conservancy.
Pitzer College was one of the first universities in the country to offer environmental studies, so a sustainability focus isn’t new at the school. Redford, who has long been involved in environmental issues, is a special advisor to the college’s president.
The program’s stated goal is to combine research with hands-on education in a liberal arts environment to solve sustainability problems in the region. Among the stated initial interests of the conservancy's programming are ethical water use, human and ecosystem health, air and food quality, and transportation solutions.
The Redford conservancy will take over a historic former infirmary building on Pitzer’s north campus starting next year, and it’ll offer academic programming in the fall of the year after.
Correction, 4:25 PM: According to Pitzer College's Anna Chang, the Pritzker gift establishing the conservancy was $10 million, not $13.5 million, as reported by a student news organization. Additional gifts suppor the conservancy as well.