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LU hosts actor, environmentalist Ed Begley Jr.

Lamar University hosts American actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. in the university’s Academic Lecture Series, 7:30 p.m., May 5, 2015, in the University Theatre.

Ed Begley Jr.The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (409) 880-8400.

Inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Begley has appeared in hundreds of films, television shows and stage performances. He is best known for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six consecutive Emmy Award nominations, and his recent reality shows about green living called Living With Ed on HGTV and Planet Green with his wife Rachelle Carson-Begley.

Since 1970, he has been an environmentalist and strong proponent of electric vehicles, recycling, eco-friendly products and low carbon footprint lifestyles. 

He has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years and has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and on the boards of numerous environmental groups. His work in the environmental community has earned him awards from prestigious environmental groups including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay and the Santa Monica Baykeeper.

He and his family recently documented construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home for “On Begley Street,” a Web series produced by Make It Happen Productions.

LEED Certification, or “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” recognizes best building practices and strategies for construction projects that aim to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Of the many levels of certification, Platinum is the highest attainable. Not only is the Begley home LEED Platinum certified, it strives to be “America’s Greenest House” and the entire construction process was featured in the “On Begley Street” series.

The couple’s new 3,800 square foot house, is at Net Zero for electric and water use – that is, it produces as much energy and water as it consumes. The house incorporates the latest in energy saving features, including 12 inches of insulation in the walls, energy efficient windows and doors, passive solar design, a solar-thermal water heating system, and a large array of solar thermal panels. The house collects rainfall and gray water in a 10,000-gallon underground cistern that will be used for the garden and landscaping.

The project took the couple longer than expected. At first planning to renovate their 1930s vintage home, their plans changed to new construction. Before starting, they diligently recycled all the materials in the old home before beginning work on the new home that is made largely of recycled materials.

The Lamar University Academic Lecture Series, sponsored by the students, brings a significant element to the university experience by allowing Lamar’s academic community to offer two lectures each year featuring prominent speakers from disciplines represented by each of the university’s colleges. Previous speakers include astronaut Sally Ride, entrepreneur Jerry Greenfield, journalist Tony Snow, professional basketball player Bob Love, author Sarah Vowell, freedom writer Manuel Scott, author Erik Qualman, and choreographer Judith Jamison.