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PLU receives a major gift to fund environmental issues programming

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The Steens stand with Allan Belton, Sergia Hay, and Adela, Ramos.

Image: Image: Appearing from left to right: Professor Sergia Hay, President Allan Belton, David Steen ’57, Lorilie Steen ’58, and Chair of Environmental Studies Adela Ramos accepts the generous gift to fund the PLU Environmental Studies program’s new annual symposium.

October 3, 2022
By Veronica Craker
PLU Marketing & Communications

Pacific Lutheran University is excited to announce the establishment of the Steen Family Symposium on Environmental Issues.

David ‘57 and Lorilie Steen ’58 have generously donated funding to the PLU Environmental Studies program to support this new annual symposium. The gift is being invested in PLU’s endowment to go toward the university’s Earth Day celebration and to bring notable national speakers to campus. The symposium is the first piece of a significant investment the Steens are making in Environmental Studies at PLU.

The Steens bring together generosity and a profound understanding of the urgency of this moment, of how finding a path forward is a matter of broad collaboration and outreach,”  Adela Ramos, chair of environmental studies, said. “We are honored to be entrusted with their vision. And we look forward with great excitement to making PLU a point of connection for diverse perspectives and communities as we grapple with the complex challenges of climate change.”

The Steens are committed to supporting PLU’s partnership with the Parkland community, surrounding communities, and its work in environmental justice. Therefore, the symposium will place particular emphasis on creating public programming so that all can benefit.

“The community aspect of this endowment is meant to broaden the reach of this subject to inspire the larger community and to inspire them to get involved in significant ways,” David Steen said. “We think PLU is in a perfect position to be a leaven within the Northwest, and we’d like to know that we have been a small part of that effort.”