Press Releases

Sierra Magazine Names America’s Top 10 “Coolest” Schools

Sierra magazine has named the nation’s top ten “coolest” schools for their efforts to stop global warming.

For Immediate Release,
August 26, 2008
For editorial information contact:
Bob Sipchen at (415) 977-5542 or
For advertising information contact:
Kristi Rummel at (608) 435-6220 or

Sierra Magazine Names America’s Top 10 “Coolest” Schools

San Francisco, CA–SIERRA magazine has named the nation’s top ten “coolest” schools for their efforts to stop global warming. From a wind-powered recycling center at Middlebury College, to 100% renewable energy at the University of Washington, to free city bus-passes and loaner bikes at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the issue honors the schools that are making a true impact for the planet. The cover story for the September/October issue is SIERRA’s second annual listing of the greenest American colleges and universities.

“A new trend is sweeping the country—American schools are going green,” said Bob Sipchen, SIERRA’s Editor-in-chief. “When schools take such significant steps toward addressing global warming, it will have a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of students. And if young people take that passion into their communities and careers, it will reverberate globally. SIERRA’s Annual “Cool Campuses” issue is our recognition that the health and vitality of the planet rests with future generations.”

This year’s top 10 “Coolest” schools are taking dramatic steps to curb global warming. Whether it’s Arizona State with 51,500 students or Warren Wilson College with just 850 students, SIERRA’s list shows that schools of all sizes are taking action.

SIERRA’s Top 10 “Coolest” Schools of 2008 are:
1. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont, 2,350 students)
2. University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado, 29,000 students)
3. University of Vermont at Burlington (Burlington, Vermont, 10,750 students)
4. Warren Wilson College (Swannanoa, North Carolina, 850 students)
5. Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington, 4,400 students)
6. Arizona State University at Tempe (Tempe, Arizona, 51,500 students)
7. University of Florida at Gainesville (Gainesville, Florida, 50,000 students)
8. Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio, 2,200 students)
9. University of Washington at Seattle (Seattle, Washington, 39,250 students)
10. Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts, 8,500 students)

In addition, SIERRA recognized “Shining Stars” – schools that are in an eco-league of their own: Alaska Pacific University, College of the Atlantic, Green Mountain College, Northland College, and Prescott College are five liberal arts schools centered around the active pursuit of environmental studies.

The University of California’s 10 campuses also received a special mention as a shining star. UC Santa Cruz has offset 100 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions, and four of UCLA’s high-rise dorms now have solar-powered water heaters. UC San Diego generates 7.4 megawatts of electricity using renewable sources. For full descriptions of each winning school’s green efforts, visit SIERRA magazine online at:

SIERRA’s September/October 2008 issue is also notable for dramatic changes in its design format. New department titles like “Spout,” “Create,” “Enjoy,” “Ponder” and “Explore” signal a fresh way to present the magazine’s content to readers. And this issue includes a first for SIERRA–a “graphic novel” entitled, “Staring Down Doomsday, City Kids Vs. Eco-Fear” written by Editor-in-chief Bob Sipchen and illustrated by Tim Eldred in stellar comic-book fashion. This unique feature was made possible by a grant from Sierra Club’s Building Bridges to the Outdoors program, whose goal is to give every U.S. child an outdoor experience.

Go to to view the September/October 2008 issue online. Our on-line media kit is available at A bimonthly, SIERRA is published by the Sierra Club, the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in America, with 713,000 members nationwide. In 1893 the organization issued the first Sierra Club Bulletin, which became SIERRA in 1977. The bulk of SIERRA’s paid circulation comes from readers who spend an average of $36 for membership in the Sierra Club. A recent study found that SIERRA readers consider the magazine to be the number-one benefit of club membership. With multiple readers per copy, SIERRA reaches a total audience of more than one million readers.

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