The Davidsonian

Cameron Clark ‘15 Talks Sustainability on Campus

Cameron Clark '15
Cameron Clark ’15 is the sustainability staff’s newest addition. Photo courtesy Cameron Clark

By Sofia Cimballa ’26 (She/Her), Staff Writer

Cameron Clark ‘15 eagerly opened the door to Hamilton House, situated on the corner of Concord Road. The welcoming interior of the space was filled with an early afternoon glow. The space is the Sustainability Office’s new home, which just relocated this summer. 

Clark explained that the move aligns with the Sustainability Office’s approach. “It allows us to do our work with students in a more impactful way. Our sustainability programming has been student-centric. And I’m excited because I think this space fits that approach,” said Clark. He was excited to see how the new space has enhanced student experiences from sustainability office employees to the Summer Sustainability Scholars program. “To me, what it signals is that sustainability is about not just the operations but also about students being involved, students leading those efforts and students collaborating around this stuff,” Clark explained.

Before taking on his role as Sustainability Coordinator for Student Programs, Clark was a Davidson student passionate about sustainability. 

In high school, Clark initially “resisted” choosing to attend Davidson. His mother graduated from Davidson, and Cameron himself had grown up in the town. Until recently, his parents ran the Davidson Village Inn, which they opened in 1993. 

Clark outgrew his resistance, and decided to attend Davidson drawn to its liberal arts appeal and academic rigor. Clark graduated with a degree in environmental studies as a member of only the second environmental studies major class at Davidson. Now, he has chosen Davidson once again, returning to his alma mater to serve in this role. 

Passion for the environment has been a common theme in Clark’s life. At Davidson, he was involved in sustainability from his freshman year. “I was an eco rep,” he said. “The idea was we did some field trips, did some training around sustainability and learned about it ourselves. And we were a representative to our freshman hall. And so our job was to host one or two educational events for our freshman hall, put up bulletin board stuff, things like that, but we also got to know other freshmen that were interested in it.” He also participated in the Sustainability Scholars program, and lived in the  “eco-house,” known now as the Sustainability Cooperative House. 

Clark’s vision of sustainability centers on building connections, “I liked working with people I cared about. That was a big part of my upbringing […] And sustainability, I guess, connects my concern with the natural world with my concern for people.” 

Successes and challenges of sustainability work on Davidson’s campus function on both an institutional and individual level, according to Clark. “One of the challenges is balancing passion and excitement with an understanding that progress takes time and everyone’s priorities are not all the same as yours.” 

Clarke highlighted recent advancements made in regards to Davidson’s Climate Action Plan as a positive area of institutional progress. Davidson aims to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2026. 

Since graduating and returning to Davidson 7 years later, Clark has noticed a shift in campus sustainability culture. “I am excited to see that it feels like sustainability has become a topic that is being talked about, and students are concerned about all over campus. It doesn’t feel like a niche topic” said Clark. He noted sustainability efforts across campus beyond the Sustainability Office, such as the Student Government’s Green Fund Initiative, “The SGA Green Fund. They have worked with our office to push that forward […] We think students have ideas that we want to support with funding and make it happen”, said Clark. 

Clark stressed the importance of continuity and dedication among the student body for sustainability initiatives. Often the short time at Davidson can inhibit student-led clubs and organizations reaching their full potential, which Clark experienced first hand while at Davidson. He urged students to consider, “How can we make sure that the change that we’re pushing for is lasting?” 

Returning to Davidson represents Clark’s dedication ensuring sustainability changes are lasting – from freshman hall ‘eco rep’ to his current position as Sustainability Coordinator for Student Programs, he has remained dedicated to building community with environmental progress at Davidson. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.