University of Vermont

$1 Million Gift from Alumnus to Establish New Professorship in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

A $1 million gift commitment from alumnus David Blittersdorf will establish a new professorship in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

The David Blittersdorf Professorship in Sustainability Science and Policy will be an endowed professorship that will advance the essential elements of a sustainability curriculum at UVM to address the critical issues of fossil fuel depletion, climate change and the development of renewable energy alternatives.

Blittersdorf, president and chief executive officer of AllEarth Renewables, Inc., of Williston, Vermont, is a 1981 graduate of UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. His accomplishments in the wind and solar energy industry define him as a leader in the field both nationally and internationally.

While the professorship will reside with the Rubenstein School, Blittersdorf has stated his intent that the incumbent professor seek collaboration with the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

"There is no greater challenge we face than addressing carbon emission, fossil fuel depletion, and our energy future. It's going to take education, technology, and policy advances for us to be successful," said Blittersdorf. "I have such high hopes for how UVM and the Rubenstein School will be educating practitioners to tackle the tough energy challenges we face as a state and as a nation."

“I offer our most sincere thanks to David Blittersdorf for this wonderful new professorship that fits so perfectly with UVM’s established expertise in environment and sustainability,” said University of Vermont president Tom Sullivan at an announcement ceremony today. “The Blitterdorf Professorship is also noteworthy for its interdisciplinary aspect, which complements UVM’s transdisciplinary research foci.”

The Rubenstein School is a recognized national leader in advancing experiential learning and interdisciplinary research on the environment and natural resources. The LEED Platinum-certified George D. Aiken Center, home base to the School's diverse programs, has been recognized in the Chronicle of Higher Education as a leading example of linking sustainability education to practice, including solar trackers that produce nearly half of the building's electricity needs.

"We work to extend the knowledge and practice of sustainability from ideas to application," said Professor Jon Erickson, Interim Dean of the Rubenstein School. "The Blittersdorf Professorship will support generations of UVM students working on the transition to renewable energy and continue to move our state forward as a leader in the green tech revolution."