Ray Day comes to Georgia State

By trying to promote a greener campus, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation will be promoting sustainability at the campus event, Ray Day.

After Ray Anderson passed away in 2011, he left his foundation to his two daughters, Harriet Langford and Mary Anne Lanier.

“His two daughters run the foundation and it’s an environmental and sustainable research foundation,” said McCall Langford, project coordinator for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.  “They fund research projects, but they are also trying to educate and change everyone’s mindset regarding sustainability.”

Already having a connection to the foundation, when Langford had a class assignment that involved organizing  she automatically thought of her grandfather’s foundation.

“It was really nice it worked out. Serendipity, you know everything just fell into place,” Langford said.

Ray Anderson's foundation continues to promote green living through his children.
Ray Anderson’s foundation continues to promote green living through his children.

For this project, there are several different roles each student has to play, such as the public relations role in which Catherine Young is in charge of. This event is not only supporting sustainability for Georgia State, but also the role students can play.

Harriet Langford said, “I’m going off of the power of one and that each student can make a difference. It’s what I call raising awareness about sustainability.”

Langford is not the only grandchild who is involved with her grandfather’s foundation; two other cousins are as well.

“He would be blown away with what my mom and aunt have done. They have taken this above and beyond what I think he expected them they to do. I think he would get tickled if he knew the grandkids were involved,” Langford said.

According to Langford, Georgia State is known for lacking sustainability in the Southeast.

“Georgia State is far behind when it comes to sustainability and energy saving techniques, but they are supposed to be making changes and it’s happening now. It really is having everyone come together and making a difference,” Langford said.

A class project turned into a way for students to make a valuable difference on campus and test their business savvy.

The foundation not only wants to spread the word on how important sustainability is, but if this event goes well then they hope to visit other colleges as well.

“If this goes well, if we can make a difference then the foundation will probably take it to other campuses,” Langford said.

The event will have a Q-and-A that will include guests such as, Bill Strang the CEO of TODO, a sustainable toilet company, Laura Turner Seydel, Ted Turner’s daughter and possibly the Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, if all falls into place.

A competition is taking place leading up to the event and will end on April 4. Any Georgia State student can participate and submit their work anytime before. The competition consists of three categories: writing, visual arts and video. Each piece of work sent in has to relate to sustainability in some way.

“It’s supposed to be a really cool event there are going to be a lot of sustainability gurus coming to the event. It’s sort of a networking opportunity for students,” Langford said.

Although the winners will not be announced until two weeks after the event. The foundation still hopes to see everyone who participated there to celebrate sustainability. Students who place in the top three will receive a $500 scholarship.

“I think it’s important for business students to look into it. I feel like this is the way the world is coming and naturally it’s going to affect business. I think it’s cool for all of the students to be involved because we can just know more about how to protect our planet and being sustainable,” Young said.

The Georgia State Foundation is coming together with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation on April 4.  Ray Day will be held in the lobby at the Rialto Center from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.