The College I attended in the 60’s was a leader in the civil rights and the peace movements. We students learned that it was not enough to read and to talk about a problem, we also had to act. I fully support the Swarthmore students who are following in the footsteps of many generations of Swarthmore students who have believed in social justice and who were willing to speak truth to power. Engaging the Board over several years on this topic shows tenacity and courage.
When we returned from Reunion last June, my husband and I decided to put our annual donation to the College into the “Fund for a Responsible Swarthmore” where it will be held until such time as the College commits to fossil fuel divestment. This will be the first time in 45 years that we have not made our annual donation to the College, so this was not a decision taken lightly. We have pledged to increase our annual contribution if the College divests.
I encourage my fellow alumni to consider seriously the idea of putting your donation in escrow, as I have done, until the College divests. In doing so, we not only support the students and faculty who have pledged to take bold action on divestment. We also send a strong message of our own to the Board that there is strong alumni support for divestment.
Fran Hostettler Putnam, Class of 1969
On May 2nd, 2015, despite a mandate from the Swarthmore Community and a formal faculty resolution for divestment, today the Board of Managers chose to stand on the wrong side of history and announced it would continue to invest in fossil fuels.
The Board decided to create a Green Fund, an alternative investment fund within the endowment that does not invest directly in fossil fuel stocks going forward. Alumni can earmark their future contributions for this fund which we expect to have in place later this year. The entire $1.9 billion endowment is still invested in fossil fuels and this fund still has indirect investments in fossil endowment.
Pledge to withhold your donations to show the Board the continuing alumni mandate for divestment of the entire endowment from fossil fuels.