Jonathan Lash Commencement

Jonathan Lash Professorship

Our friend and colleague Jonathan Lash has announced his plans to retire as Hampshire’s president in 2018. Jonathan brought more than four decades of environmental leadership, climate-change, and sustainability expertise when he took over the helm as the engaged, patient leader of this experimenting college.

To honor Jonathan’s legacy of service to the environmental movement and his remarkable time at Hampshire, the board of trustees of the College is establishing the Jonathan Lash Endowed Chair in Environmental Education and Sustainability.

Hampshire has a role to play in addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time. Environmental education creates environmentally literate change makers able to leverage scientific concepts and evidence when engaging in political and social action, decision making, and everyday discourse.

Our graduates will be the leaders who influence behavior as well as policy.

In true Hampshire fashion, the College is more interested in how we teach and learn about sustainability than in what we teach and learn. The professorship will be in the School of Cognitive Science — to bring together hard science and social science to help us understand how best to convey ideas that can lead to real environmental progress.

The Lash Endowed Chair will encourage students to transform their ideas about environmental education and sustainability into action by considering behavioral, conservation, and environmental psychology, as well as how social- and ethical-justice issues converge with environmental studies. Courses will combine critical pedagogy, environmental science, sustainability studies, and community-engaged learning.

Creating a professorship of environmental education will further Hampshire’s leadership on the issues of environmental sustainability, social justice, and community service. This position will prepare students to become educators, teachers, activists, and policymakers, and leaders for change.

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