Sustainability Murals Celebrate Greening Efforts at Wellesley, Babson

June 5, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently named Babson College, Massachusetts Bay Community College/Wellesley Campus and Wellesley College, “Green Power Partners,” making Wellesley one of the first communities in the nation with all of its institutions of higher education to have this distinction – and making Wellesley one of the greenest towns in America. (Read the EPA Press Release).

Recognition of the schools’ efforts comes on the heels of another celebration of sustainability by two of the schools. Earlier this year, Wellesley and Babson unveiled a set of ceramic murals featuring images of sustainability on the two campuses. The murals were installed on the Wellesley College campus near the entrance to the Bae Pao Lu Chow Dining Room on the fourth floor of the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center yesterday.

The design and creation of the murals was a collaborative effort by dozens of students, faculty, and staff at the two institutions. Caitlin Greenhill Caldrea ‘14 designed the Wellesley mural. Aidan Chambers '13, Stephanie Osser, instructor and manager of the Babson College Ceramics studio, and Corri Taylor, director of Wellesley's Quantitative Reasoning Program, led Wellesley's creative team for the mural. The murals were funded through The Babson, Olin, Wellesley (BOW) Three College Collaboration, and specifically by a Mellon Presidential Project grant awarded to Osser.

“When I heard about this project at a January BOW event, I jumped at the opportunity to do something artistically creative,” Taylor said. “I'm a strong supporter of Sustainability in practice and as academic topic, and I was excited to do something to draw attention to Sustainability efforts on our campus.” Last fall, Taylor organized Wellesley’s "Celebrating Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Connections" series around the theme of QR & Sustainability

According to Taylor, the group wanted the murals “to celebrate both the sustainability efforts on the campuses in terms of what was going on in facilities and landscape, and to celebrate the relatively new BOW Certificate in Sustainability.”

Erika Liu '15, Vanessa Barrera '12, Olivia Froehlich '14, Sophie Johnson '12, Graeme Durovich '15, Patty Suquilanda '13, Valerie Soon '13, Susan Laves '12, Emma Maynard '13, Lilly Gorman '15, Wellesley's Karen Pabon (Director, Slater International), Professor Dan Brabander, and Professor Kristina Jones, and Jamaal Eversley, a Babson Class of 2009 alumnus, also contributed their time and talents in various phases from design to glazing.

“We started the mural, stomping barefoot on the clay,” Taylor said. “Then we transferred the image, sculpted and carved it, cut the 4' x 4' work into small enough tiles for the kiln, glazed the tiles, and assembled the ceramic collage together again.” 

The two bas-relief ceramic collages illustrate significant sustainability efforts at the two colleges. The Wellesley College mural includes images of:

  • The renovated Whitin Observatory, which was awarded silver LEED certification;
  • The restoration of the Alumnae Valley, including Cattail Pond behind the Lulu;
  • The LED lights in the College’s iconic lanterns;
  • The beehives behind the Science Center and honey bees;
  • The photovoltaic solar array;
  • The zero-emission, all electric van retrofitted with a solar panel;
  • A student riding one of the Revolution pink bikes (communal bike program);
  • And Students' gardening/farming efforts

Images on the Babson mural include energy efficient campus buildings, a “Big Belly Solar Energy Compactor,” Babson’s bike share program, a gardener, and "a person with an idea, represented by compact fluorescent light bulbs," said Susanna Kroll, Babson College Class of 2014 and lead designer of the Babson mural. "After all, without ideas, sustainability efforts cannot continually improve.” 

The murals have been on display together at Babson College since April 27. They will be together at the Lulu until later this summer when the two will be separated: the Babson mural will go back to Babson and the Wellesley mural will go to its long-term home in the Wellesley Science Center.