Downtown campus celebrates arrival of solar power

December 6, 2011

ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus is doing its part to stomp out global warming by reducing the area’s carbon footprint while producing clean and secure power for the future. 

ASU recently completed a public-private partnership resulting in a 77-kilowatt solar system being installed on the roof of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The project cost approximately $815,000 and includes 322 solar panels. Officials from ASU, Arizona Public Service and the City of Phoenix held a Dec. 6 dedication ceremony to recognize ASU’s “greening” of the maroon and gold. Download Full Image

“We’re in the Valley of the Sun, and it just makes good sense for us to embrace emerging technologies in solar energy,” said Morgan Olsen, ASU’s executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. “ASU has been a leader in alternative energy research for a very long time.”

The system will generate approximately 122,335-kilowatt hours of electricity annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 153,000 pounds per year. That’s the carbon equivalent to removing the annual emissions of 15 cars, or planting more than 2,000 trees.

“A public-private partnership like this is a prime example of how we can incorporate renewable energy into city-owned buildings to support green jobs and reduce our carbon footprint in the community," said Phoenix Councilman Bill Gates, chairman of the city's Finance, Efficiency and Innovation Subcommittee. “Phoenix is focused on the future of sustainability and partnerships like this move us toward a more efficient use of our resources.”

The Cronkite Solar Power Plant is just one of more than 50 solar installations on three of ASU’s four campuses. It has agreements, ranging from 15 to 20 years, with local utility companies and solar developers to install and operate the others. The university will buy the energy back from the companies at a fixed cost.

The fixed cost also includes the benefit of federal and state tax credits as well as renewable-energy incentives provided by Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project.

According to Campus Solarization Program, the more than 50,000 solar panels generate energy equivalent to about 7 percent of the university’s total annual consumption. The university hopes to increase that amount to 15 percent by 2014.

To learn more about ASU’s Campus Solarization Program, visit

Reporter , ASU News


More than 5,000 students to graduate Dec. 14, 15

December 6, 2011

With the holiday season just around the corner, more than 5,000 graduating students will have a special reason to celebrate this year.

Commencement for 1,305 graduate students will take place at 3:30 p.m., Dec. 14, in Wells Fargo Arena. The undergraduate fall commencement ceremony for 4,183 students will take place at 8:30 a.m., Dec. 15, in Wells Fargo Arena. Download Full Image

ASU President Michael Crow will be the commencement speaker at each ceremony. Both ceremonies will be webcast live. Convocations for individual colleges will take place on all ASU campuses Dec. 14-16. A schedule is available at

The Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will graduate 85 graduate students and 17 undergraduate students at their convocation, to take place at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 16, in Gammage Auditorium.

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts will graduate 211 undergraduate and 73 graduate students – or, more specifically, 112 artists, five dancers, 74 designers, 51 musicians and 42 theatre and film majors.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will award 793 undergraduate degrees and 93 graduate degrees this fall. There will be two ceremonies: the Maroon ceremony will take place at 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Dec. 16., in Wells Fargo Arena and the Gold ceremony will take place at noon to 1:30 p.m., Dec. 16, in Wells Fargo Arena.

College of Public Programs will award 73 graduate and 274 undergraduate degrees at 5 p.m., Dec. 16, at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The New College will award 357 bachelor’s degrees and 33 master’s degrees next week. The convocation ceremony will take place at 2 p.m., Dec. 15, on the Fletcher Library Lawn on the West campus.

The College of Technology and Innovation will graduate 78 graduate students and 273 undergraduate students at 8 p.m., Dec. 16, on the Tempe campus.

The ASU Alumni Association will present Moeur Awards to 20 students who have achieved the highest grade-point averages with all of their studies completed at ASU.

Free parking will be available throughout the Tempe campus, except for metered spaces and residence hall lots. Parking information for commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found here:

Natasha Karaczan
Media Relations

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library