University News

Rocky Sustains Helps WIU Campus Community Save the Planet

August 27, 2007

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- His mission in life is simple: To save the planet and to get Western Illinois University students, faculty and staff to do their part too.

Rocky Sustains, the new initiative behind Western's sustainability efforts, was recently unveiled to stress the importance of the campus community's active participation in such sustainable behaviors as recycling and energy and water conservation. It complements this year's University-wide theme, "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility: Environmental Sustainability."

Rocky Sustains is the brainchild of four students from WIU Marketing Professor Carolyn Tripp's spring 2007 Marketing 327 (Marketing Principles) class. Western Marketing Director Kristin Dunstan, who is also a member of the University's Sustainability Committee, approached Tripp about having her students design an icon for sustainability efforts at WIU. Dr. Tripp incorporated this design challenge into a class marketing project that resulted in creative graphic designs and messaging strategies, Dunstan said. "Recycling Rocky," created by Miranda Baker, a junior from Moline (IL); Mike Nelson, a senior from Cedar Rapids, IA; Brooke Bauma, a junior from Romeoville (IL) and Nancy Bockhold, a senior from Camp Point (IL) was the winning concept. The Sustainability Committee decided to dub the icon Rocky Sustains to fit into Western's theme; and University Relations Graphic Designer Caren Bordowitz further refined the design, which features Rocky with planet Earth in the background.

"With the help of Western's actual Rocky mascot, Rocky Sustains was debuted at a First Year Experience program Aug. 19; however, students, faculty, staff and campus visitors will see Rocky Sustains throughout the academic year in a variety of locations and settings," Dunstan said. "We will be placing posters on Go West busses, and each poster will carry a specific sustainability message, such as 'Save Energy, Save the Planet. Turn Off Your Computer When Not in Use.' Campus events focusing on sustainability will also be a part of Rocky Sustains efforts."

Sustainability is not a new concept for Western. The University was the first Illinois higher education institution to join the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), a member-based association of colleges and universities working to advance sustainability in higher education; and WIU is leading discussions on sustainability at the state level among universities and other state institutions, Dunstan pointed out.

"It's important for Western to be an active global partner and community citizen," she added. "As a result, sustainability is a high priority for this institution. It's important for everyone at Western to learn how to be a more conscious and aware member of this plant. The current generation of college students has the opportunity -- and grave challenge -- to save this planet and sustain life on earth as we know it."

For more information on sustainability initiatives at Western, visit

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Relations