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NextGen Climate Founder Tom Steyer to Deliver Climate Solutions Lecture at Vermont Law, Receive Honorary Degree

May 6, 2014

CONTACT: Maryellen Apelquist, Director of Media Relations, Vermont Law School
office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593,

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., May 6, 2014—Investor, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate Tom Steyer will deliver a lecture titled “Climate Solutions—Building a Clean Energy Future” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 16, in the Chase Community Center on the Vermont Law School campus. The lecture, on the eve of VLS’s 39th Commencement, is free and open to the public and press.

Steyer, who will receive VLS’s 2014 Honorary Degree for the Environment during Commencement, is the founder of NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to avert climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. He works to promote economic development and environmental protection in California, and serves on the board at Stanford University, where he and his wife, Kat Taylor, founded two renewable energy research institutions: the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. The couple is among several high-wealth Americans to join the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes.

Steyer also established Advanced Energy Economy, which works with businesses to make energy secure, clean and affordable, and Next Generation, which addresses energy and children’s policy issues.

Last year, the Environmental Law Institute presented Steyer with its Environment Achievement Award in recognition of his leadership in clean energy and climate change policy. He shared the award with George Schultz, former secretary of the treasury and secretary of state, with whom he created a bipartisan coalition to defeat California’s Proposition 23, an effort by out-of-state oil companies to dismantle California’s groundbreaking clean energy law.

“Tom Steyer is a true trailblazer when it comes to energy and climate,” said Associate Dean Melissa Scanlan, director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School. “We look forward to welcoming him to the Vermont Law School community, and to recognizing his commitment to a clean energy future with our honorary degree.”

Steyer graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale and received his MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

For more information about Commencement activities at Vermont Law School, visit


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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