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EARTH Stories: Illuminating Lives

“Now at 25 years…you’ve begun to see the maturation not just of the school but of the graduates.”

When Erick Aguilar (’95, Costa Rica) needs ideas or help, he posts a message on Facebook and five minutes later he’s hearing from EARTH alumni around the globe. Find out why this global network of EARTH alumni is reenergizing retired Whole Foods Exec and EARTH University Foundation Trustee, Michael Besancon…


“Of all the things I’ve seen…EARTH provides the best return.”

Sofia Allende (’17, Argentina) dreams of having an integrated farm back in Argentina—of producing milk and making dulce de leche. Tim Solso—retired Cummins CEO and President of EARTH’s Board of Directors—is helping her get there. Find out why he believes her education is the best investment he’s ever made…


“When we feel lonely, we just get on a bus and go back home.”

Thanks to the support of Dianne and Ron Hoge (Ron is a Trustee of the EARTH University Foundation), street-wise Tom Okot (’18, Uganda) came to Costa Rica to attend EARTH on full-scholarship. What he didn’t know was that he was going to be adopted by a big Costa Rican family…


"I see the beauty of teaching in this university...you get to know people and their stories."

Professors Yanine Chan (Costa Rica) and Rebeca García (Spain) discuss what makes the University’s teaching philosophy so unique, and how the support of the extended EARTH community during a difficult time made Yanine realize that “my work really works”…


“I needed to thank the people responsible for selecting me.”

When Kevaughn Bonner (’15, Jamaica) was invited to interview for admission to EARTH, he knew it was his opportunity to make a change in Jamaican agriculture. Listen to what he wrote in a letter to our Foundation Chairman, Mark Ohrstrom…


“I just hope our connection with EARTH remains as close as it is.”

Dameron Black visited EARTH in its early days, when professors outnumbered students. Little did he know that trip would spark a lifelong calling for his wife, Jane, who eventually founded EARTH University Foundation in Atlanta…


“He cried about how much he wanted to help his community.”

Longtime supporter, Barbara Butler, first heard about EARTH one Sunday afternoon on the shores of Lake San Pablo, Ecuador. Her godson Fernando, who dreamed of studying agriculture after high school, began talking about the impossibility of studying at an “incredible place in Costa Rica.” Listen to what happened when, with her encouragement, he applied to EARTH…

Barbara returned to EARTH in 2015, bringing her mother—a passionate advocate for education—and sister for their first visit to campus.


"What I feel most proud of is that the mission we've defined for EARTH is being accomplished by our students and graduates."

EARTH University President José Zaglul and Provost Daniel Sherrard reflect on a lifetime of service to the University – including Daniel’s very first position as a bus driver!


"Everyone in fourth year ends up speaking the same language: EARTH language."

Roommates Phenny Shantel (’17, Kenya) The MasterCard Foundation Scholar and Monica Montero (‘17, Costa Rica) relate why they consider themselves lucky to share a room, and the definition of “EARTH language” spoke widely on campus…


“We’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid, but the Kool-Aid is actually more like a fine wine.”

Through the lens of a camera, photographer and EARTH University Foundation Trustee Lynn Hoffman-Brouse, discovered a brilliance at EARTH that might have otherwise gone unnoticed…


“Your positive outlook on the world and aspirations for the future came through loud and clear.”

EARTH staff member Wendy Judy recalls interviewing Faith Mukami (’15, Kenya) more than four years ago and what it was about Faith that made her stand out from the crowd…