Prince Albert Grimaldi ’81 Forms $2 Million Fund
Issue   |   Wed, 09/28/2016 - 00:33

Prince Albert Grimaldi ’81 of Monaco gave the college $2 million to establish the Prince Albert II Foundation Green Revolving Fund (GRF) at Amherst, the college announced on Sept. 21.

The fund will support the college in “achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions by providing a regenerative funding source that engages and empowers the campus community to implement innovative energy conservation measures,” Director of Sustainability Lauren Draucker said in an email interview.

According to Draucker, Director of International Giving Erika Shelburne worked with Prince Albert to secure the gift. The Office of Sustainability’s past work and achievements started the conversations that led to the donation, Draucker said.

Chief Advancement Officer Megan Morey said the commitment was finalized on June 30 after two years of discussions.

“Over the last two and a half years, on a number of occasions, Erika and President Martin have met with Prince Albert,” Morey wrote in an email. “As discussions continued about a commitment, it was clear that an opportunity to support the environment was his top priority, and we were delighted that he chose the Green Revolving Fund.”

The gift will be used to fund energy conservation projects that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously creating savings that replenish the fund. It will also support “innovative student-led projects that won’t be expected to replenish the fund, but that support the larger goal of the Office of Environmental Sustainability of learning by doing research and projects on energy savings using the campus itself as a lab,” said Draucker.

Plans for the fund will be finalized in the next few months. Though the majority of the fund will go to energy conservation projects, Draucker said that her office is still in the process of finalizing the GRF charter, which will decide the proportions of the fund that will be dedicated to each type of project. The charter will further specify how students can pursue GRF projects.

“Students and all community members will also be encouraged to submit energy conservation project ideas, and students will be part of the multi-stakeholder committee that will make decisions about which projects to fund based on metrics outlined in the charter,” Draucker said.

Ideally, the GRF will grow over time, with energy savings pursued by GRF adding back to the fund and providing more opportunities to “support even bigger projects over time” and increase “impact on reducing energy use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions on campus,” Draucker said.