Who We Are

Letter from the Director

Dear Friend,

It was almost 25 years ago that a bold vision began to emerge of a Center for the Environment here on the Catawba Campus. This Center would serve to educate both our college students and the public about environmental stewardship and sustainability. This would be accomplished by bringing diverse people and groups together to catalyze sustainable solutions for our most persistent environmental challenges while also providing students rare and unique opportunities for experiential learning and engagement.


Through numerous partnerships and collaborative efforts, the Center for the Environment was founded in 1996. Since that time, the fruits of those endeavors have continued to increase. As you look over this website, the extent of those partnerships becomes quite evident. Through those connections, we create a kind of synergy that allows us to achieve things that as a single entity we might never accomplish.


In today’s world, the work of a Center like ours has never been more critical. Our Center is here to continue to educate about the importance of environmental stewardship in a way that helps meet today’s societal needs. By doing this, we are also able to answer our students’ call to teach through our actions and to involve them in the process.



John E. Wear, Executive Director


To provide education and outreach centered on prevalent environmental challenges and to foster community-oriented sustainable solutions that can serve as a model for programs throughout the country.

History of the Center

The Center for the Environment at Catawba College has been deeply involved in our state’s environmental issues since its inception in 1996. We strive to serve as a model to our region, lending our expertise on a wide range of issues – from air and water quality to land preservation and sustainable development. In the process, Catawba students receive a value-added education through involvement in our activities.


The Center for the Environment is currently involved in several major initiatives: the National Youth Environmental Summit, regularly occurring Center speaker events, the North Carolina Green Schools program, and the promotion of sustainable practices. Learn more about our initiatives here.


Learn more about the staff here.