Michael Murray

"When it comes to sustainability, I mean business."

Michael Murray—Sustainability

To most people, the phrase “going green” conjures up images of cleaning up creeks and separating recycling. But as a double major in Economics and Economics, Sustainability and Society, Michael Murray plans to take his enlightened sensibility into the boardroom. His goal? Making a positive contribution on a business’ bottom line and environmental impact.

Specifically, if you want to know what Murray ordered off the “pick-your-major” menu—“I’m a regular ECON with a double in ECOS.” Acronyms aside, he’s also embarked on a course of study that will profit both his career and the natural and business environment.

Bottom lines notwithstanding, Murray’s heart has always been in the right place. He arrived at Xavier as a Community-Engaged Fellow working at a not-for-profit, teaching aspiring musicians to play and record their own music. It was as an Economics major taking a class in globalization and economics that the idea of a double-major incorporating sustainability struck a chord. “For a sustainable movement to work you need a lot of different backgrounds working together. You’re going to need business people just as much as activists.”

As for a future in business, all lights are green. “If you want the edge on business in the next ten, twenty years, you’re going to need to have at least a passing knowledge of what’s going on with sustainable products and technology.” And if, like Murray, you make sustainability a major, you’re way ahead of the curve.

Sustainability at Xavier

Deeply embedded in the Jesuit values that Xavier is built upon is the idea of serving others. For some, that means helping the homeless. For others that means the world of politics. For others still, it means protecting the innocent.

Sustainability: Economics & Management

Focuses on sustainable organizations and economies, and involves studies in ecological, environmental, and natural resource economics; management for sustainability and social responsibility; and attention to key related areas such as organizational change management and global supply chain management. Sustainable businesses have lower enterprise risk, better reputations, attract more talented employees and have improved long-term viability.

Economics, Sustainability & Society

Focuses on sustainable economies, and includes the study of natural resources, ecological and environmental problems, processes, and policies at local, national and global levels. Students will integrate economic analysis with cultural studies, global economic development, policy studies, and management, as they gain skills to conceptualize and solve sustainability problems. Students will critically examine the goal of ever greater material consumption and the notion of natural capital as a mere storehouse of natural resources waiting to be used up.

Land, Farming & Community

Focuses on the science and art of agriculture; and both the necessity and benefits of small-scale, sustainable, and diversified food production in the context of a Jesuit education. The program offers students the opportunity to become stewards of healthy, productive soils, communities, and regions through study and practical experience with growing, processing and distributing food.

Environmental Science

Focuses on the impact of human systems on our natural environment and how in turn these natural systems affect the human environment. The program offers strong scientific foundations as well as understanding of the economic, political, and human social systems necessary to get policies and technologies implemented.