SUNY Chancellor Johnson Statement on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

April 22, 2020

"Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and as we grapple with an international pandemic that has upended all of our lives and caused tragedy the world over, it is important to reflect on what this moment in time has meant to us all. The sheer scope of the COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that we all share this Earth together.

"On Earth Day 2020, let us adopt the same kind of passion for preserving our humanity as creatures upon this fragile planet whose very existence depends upon our mutual cooperation with one another every bit as much as the synchronicity between the rain and the trees.

"Let us also celebrate and embrace the genius of those idealistic young people from the youth climate movement of 50 years ago whose advocacy for a worldwide day to honor Earth and the concept of peace is a reminder of the enduring truth found in the wise words of former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, when she said: ‘The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.'"

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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