Randall Library Installs UNCW’s First-Ever Solar-Powered Umbrellas

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

UNCW’s Randall Library has just made Seahawk history by installing the first-ever solar umbrellas on campus. The umbrellas were purchased with funds provided by UNCW Sustainability and The Green Initiative Fund, a student-started initiative that funds causes dedicated to environmental sustainability on campus.
Kathryn Pohlman, chief sustainability officer, is “passionate about making sure that The Green Initiative Funds supports projects that create efficiencies, improve the quality of life by creating a healthy and safe environment, and create partnerships within the community.”
In addition to being completely solar-powered, the umbrellas allow users to charge their devices via a USB connection. “We’re lucky to have great weather in Wilmington, so the solar umbrellas were a great way to provide power without affecting our carbon footprint,” said Nicole Tekulve, associate director of library user experience for access and spaces.
The library administration reached out to UNCW Environmental Health and Safety for resources to purchase the umbrellas and discovered a shared interest among SGA and EH&S to provide them on campus.
After some cross-departmental strategizing, SGA agreed to write the TGIF grant and received the award to fund one umbrella in April 2019; Sustainability matched those funds soon after for the second umbrella. Randall Library provided the location and agreed to be responsible for their upkeep.
“By implementing additions like solar umbrellas, SGA has continued to show our commitment to ensuring that we provide new and innovative resources for our students while remaining focused on sustainable practices,” said Nicholas Pianovich ’20, SGA president. As of Oct. 2, these new umbrellas are available for use and can be found at the front entrance of Randall Library.
“We hope that this is the first in many steps that our campus will continue to take in becoming more sustainable,” Pianovich said.
-- Brea Perry ’20