Unity College in “A Road Not Taken”


In an email announcement to the Unity College community today, Mark Tardif, our Associate Director of College Communications, reported on the upcoming premier of A Road Not Taken:

“Dear Unity College Student, Faculty or Staff Member,

In 2005, an Associated Press story about the array of solar panels formerly atop the White House during the Carter administration that were brought to Unity College in the early 1990’s caught the attention of two Swiss filmmakers.

Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller of Zurich, Switzerland, contacted Associate Professor and Interim VP for Academic Affairs Mick Womersley.  A dialogue between the filmmakers and Associate Professor Womersley led to filming of a documentary about the panels.  Two Unity College students are prominently featured in this documentary, Sara Trunzo ’08 and Jason Reynolds ’05.  Also featured from Unity College are President Mitch Thomashow, Associate Professor Mick Womersley, and retired Professor David Purdy.

The theme of this documentary, A Road Not Taken, explores the visionary energy policy of President Jimmy Carter, who greatly reduced oil imports and put America on a path to achieve 20% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2000.  The installation of solar panels atop the White House by President Carter was a symbolic gesture of hope that America would not turn from a forward thinking energy policy.

Why this direction to ensure America’s long term energy prosperity was reversed by the administration of Ronald Reagan is a central question of the documentary.  President Reagan ordered the solar panels removed from the White House and put in government storage, where they were eventually retrieved and brought to Unity College.

A Road Not Taken is a rare documentary that connects historical fact with present day reality.  This documentary also features an exclusive 2007 interview with President Carter during which he offered insights into his energy policy that had never before been revealed.”

The documentary will have its US premier at the DC Environmental Film Festival in March.

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