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Emerald Event: First Graduation at Phipps Combines Duquesne MBA Sustainability, International Sustainability Expert

Duquesne University's 2012 MBA Sustainability candidates will be the first to participate in a green commencement ceremony at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which recently previewed the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, which has been called one of the greenest buildings on the planet.

In its fifth graduation ceremony, 26 students in the yearlong Duquesne program, tailored to incorporate ethics, profitability and environment into business practices, are expected to receive their degrees in the ceremony on Friday, July 27, at 2:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker is Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, which has helped companies, communities and countries from Afghanistan to New Zealand implement more sustainable business practices profitably.

"Because of the sustainability threads woven into our program when it launched five years ago, we always have drawn world renowned experts to our commencements," said Dean Alan Miciak. "It's especially remarkable this year, with Phipps in the news for opening its new Center for Sustainable Landscapes, that our program is the first to hold its commencement at Phipps."

Rodeo-riding Lovins can be expected to wear her trademark boots and cowgirl hat for the ceremony.

In more than 30 years as a sustainability thought leader, Lovins has helped to found the field of sustainable management and to create several MBA programs. The latest of her 13 books, The Way Out: Kickstarting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass (2012), is a sequel to her international best-selling book, Natural Capitalism, now used in hundreds of college courses.

Lovins, who was recently requested by the King of Bhutan to present at a U.N. conference on reframing the economy, has won dozens of awards, including this year's Rachel Carson Award, the European Sustainability Pioneer Award and the Right Livelihood Prize, the alternative Nobel Prize. Recognized by Time Magazine as a Millennium Hero for the Planet, she has been called a "green business icon" by Newsweek.

Since 2007, the MBA Sustainability program has been ranked in the top 25 schools internationally by the Aspen Institute for integrating sustainability into a business MBA curriculum and among the top 10 schools of its size. The top-ranked MBA program in Pennsylvania, it also is the top-ranked Catholic MBA program.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.