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Partner to Achieve Excellence

Achieving carbon neutrality puts AU in the front rank of environmental leadership, and new partnerships with both the public and private sectors play key roles in our efforts to improve the human condition.

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On Campus

AU Is the First Carbon Neutral University in the US


Cutting carbon emissions, using green power, and buying strategic offsets helped AU achieve carbon neutrality two years ahead of schedule.

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AU's electricity comes from 100 percent

renewable sources

Carbon Neutrality at AU = 10,000

passenger vehicles off the road per year


University, Urban Campus, and Research University to reach carbon neutrality

Center Partners to Help Close College-Opportunity Gap

In partnership with school counselors, postsecondary experts, and scholars around the nation, AU’s new Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success is pioneering groundbreaking research on ways to make higher education more available to underserved populations.

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Airlie Sends Farm-Fresh Food to AU Dining Services

Two chefs select fresh produce from one of the Airlie gardens.

Twenty-four hours after a rainbow of produce is plucked from the historic Airlie Center’s 20-acre farm in Warrenton, Virginia, it is served to hungry students in AU’s Terrace Dining Room.

The property, gifted to the university in fall 2016, grows and harvests 10,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables each year—the majority of which is used by AU’s Dining Services. Another 75 acres are dedicated to raising Berkshire pigs and Angus cattle, producing 12,000 pounds of beef and pork for AU students and Airlie guests.

The 300-acre meeting and conference destination also serves up research and experiential learning opportunities for the AU community.

“Science faculty have taken students out overnight to sample water [and] SOC professor Sarah Menke-Fish took out a class to do a series of documentaries on the property’s history,” says environmental science professor Kiho Kim, Airlie’s academic liaison. “Few universities have the capacity to provide experiential learning in both urban and rural environments. Airlie gives us longer reach into different parts of the metropolitan DC area.”

A prospective student poses with an augmented reality Clawed mascot

Campus Comes to Life with Augmented Reality

Prospective students and their families can bring the AU campus to life by pointing their smartphones at augmented reality posters they come across on their tours.

With Tour AU, a mobile admissions app developed in partnership with Sony, students can meet President Sylvia M. Burwell, take a selfie with Clawed Z. Eagle, get excited about physics with Professor Nate Harshman, and learn about what Bender Library has to offer.

The AR posters are a key feature of the app, and AU is the only university in DC currently offering this technology.
Check Out the App

AU, National Network Cut Students' Textbook Costs

Membership in a collaborative of 600-plus colleges and universities that share and peer-review academic course content gives AU faculty greater access to high-quality open educational resources for their classes. The Open Textbook Network allows professors more freedom to customize course curriculum, and students save an estimated $1,220 per year on textbooks, according to the College Board. Support from the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning streamlines the process.
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Peace Corps volunteers from American University

AU, Special Olympics Partner on Disability Study

AU partners with Special Olympics International on new research

Students in Kogod’s master’s in business analytics program are examining Special Olympics International’s data on health information for persons with intellectual disabilities to develop predictive analytical models.

The first-time partnership between AU and Special Olympics focuses on research and education at the intersection of disability, development, communication, information technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. Students also participate in for-credit internships to learn how the organization is contributing to make communities more inclusive, particularly in urban settings.

“We are delighted to partner with American University to advance public policies, data analytics, and collaborative research that will positively impact our vast network of athletes and the global disability community,” says Special Olympics chair Timothy Shriver.

The collaboration coincides with the unveiling of AU’s new strategic initiative on global disability and development, led by its Institute on Disability and Public Policy. According to Special Olympics, approximately 6.5 million people in the US, and as many as 200 million people worldwide, have an intellectual disability.

Diversifying the PR Industry

Public relations firm MWWPR and the School of Communication are working to increase ethnic diversity in the public relations industry. Summer fellows at MWWPR conceptualize and build their own agencies, implement work on behalf of actual clients, and explore employment opportunities.

“We are looking to build a truly integrated team of individuals with unique cultural backgrounds, skill sets, and experiences that will contribute to the future success of our agency and the industry at large,” says Michael Kempner, SOC/BS ’81, MWWPR founder and CEO.

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Basketball Women in Big Dance

The AU women’s basketball team huddles before the Patriot League quarterfinal against Lafayette.

For the second time in its history, the women’s basketball team earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles punched a ticket to the Big Dance by defeating Navy 58–49 to win the Patriot League championship. The victory clinched AU’s first undefeated season at home since the 1970s. Junior Cecily Carl scored 20 points to lead the team and was named the tournament MVP. Despite playing well in its NCAA Tournament matchup with UCLA, AU lost to the Bruins 71–60.

Collaboration Key to The Future of Health Care

President Burwell speaks at "Next Steps in Health Reform 2017" at Washington College of Law

Leading thinkers assessed the future of US health care while offering constructive policy recommendations at “Next Steps in Health Reform 2017” at the Washington College of Law. AU president Sylvia M. Burwell, the former secretary of Health and Human Services, delivered a hopeful address that encouraged collaboration: “This isn’t the work of government or business alone. It’s the work of policy makers and physicians, advocates and attorneys, patients and families.”

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