Former trustee, environmental entrepreneur dies
Aug. 9, 2011
Dr. Ray C. Anderson, renowned environmental industrialist and founder of commercial
floor-covering giant Interface Inc., died Monday in Atlanta after a two-year battle
He had a long relationship with LaGrange College, having served on the school's
Board of Trustees and most recently its President's Advisory Council.
Through the years, Dr. Anderson was an active champion of the college's sustainability
efforts and was an inspiration behind the LEED silver certification of the new
campus library. LEED represents the nationally accepted rating system for high-performance
The college is home to the first Energy Star-rated facilities in the state and
was one of the first 10 schools in the nation to submit its Climate Action Plan
to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.
"As leader of the college community, and personally, I feel the loss of Ray Anderson
very deeply," said college President Dan McAlexander. "Ray was one of the world's
most compelling thinkers about what it means to live wisely on our planet, and
as a man of deep integrity he lived his life accordingly.
"He was a powerful force behind our first steps toward sustainability. For that
and his enduring inspiration, we will be forever grateful."
The college presented Dr. Anderson an honorary doctorate in 2001 and with the
Fuller E. Callaway Jr. Award for Lifetime Service in 2007. He also held the status
of Fellow of the college, a distinction awarded to the school's most faithful financial
Dr. Anderson was named one of Time magazine's Heroes of the Environment and one
of MSNBC.com's Top 15 Green Business Leaders in 2007. He and Interface have
been spotlighted in three documentary films, including "The Corporation" and "So
Right, So Smart." He co-chaired the President's Council on Sustainable Development
and the Presidential Climate Action Project. He and Interface have been featured
in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company and many other publications.