Alum Supporters

We are proud to support the alum petition for full fossil fuel divestment, which is copied at the bottom of this page. The petition is live and the list of signatures is growing.

If you are a graduate or past student of Smith College, we invite you to sign the petition.

Current Signatories: 221

(Updated March 21, 2018)


Petition to the Trustees of Smith College for Full Fossil Fuel Divestment

Dear President Kathleen McCartney, Board Chair Deborah Duncan, and Investment Committee Chair April Foley,

As alums of Smith College, we are calling on the Board of Trustees to take concrete steps towards divesting the college’s entire institutional endowment from the fossil fuel industry.

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity in the 21st century. It disproportionately impacts women and other marginalized groups, and exacerbates conflicts over already scarce resources. Thus, this is not only an environmental issue, but also an issue of social justice and human rights. Furthermore, since climate change is caused primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels, it is morally egregious to be invested in fossil fuel companies that are profiting from environmental destruction and continuing to develop new infrastructure and reserves, often in ways that exploit economically and politically disadvantaged communities. By divesting from these companies, Smith College would not only demonstrate its commitment to climate action and social justice, but also would make a powerful statement that, when combined with the voices of other institutions and individuals, will ultimately stigmatize the fossil fuel industry and pressure governments to pass legislation that restricts the behavior and practices of these companies.

We are proud that our alma mater has taken progressive stances on issues of social justice and sustainability, and we expect the college to continue to lead in these areas. We are glad that the college has maintained an open and inclusive dialogue about our fossil fuel investments by meeting with students from Divest Smith College and the Student Government Association and by inviting students, faculty and staff to serve on the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR). We commend the Board of Trustees for approving the recommendations made by the ACIR in October 2017, including publishing a quarterly progress report on socially responsible investment, avoiding future direct holdings in coal, and increasing impact investments to $30 million.

However, we are concerned that the scope of these actions is wholly inadequate compared to the magnitude of the problem. Smith should divest not just from coal, but also from oil and natural gas. Furthermore, most of the endowment is invested in commingled funds, so divesting our direct holdings will have a negligible impact. Yet the ACIR has stated that it will not recommend further action on fossil fuel divestment for the next two years while the college implements the October 2017 recommendations. We find a two-year hiatus to be unacceptable, especially considering damage that climate change will inevitably cause within the same timeframe.

Ultimately, we fear that the integrity of the college is being compromised by its relationship with its current investment manager, Investure LLC. It has become clear that the primary barrier to full fossil fuel divestment is Investure’s investment model, which pools all of its clients’ money together in commingled funds and has stripped the college of “control over which companies are included—or excluded—in any particular fund.” As long as Smith relies on Investure’s services, socially responsible investment policies—including Smith’s previous commitments to divest from tobacco and from companies that funded mass killings in Darfur—are impossible to enforce. In fact, Investure’s unwillingness (or inability) to restrict their fund managers has led to the departure of four clients in the past three years, including our peer institution, Barnard College. While Investure has successfully achieved above-average returns in the past, we question whether this justifies the loss of autonomy over the college’s most valuable asset.

We believe that Smith College must align its money with its morals. Our investment choices should reflect the mission and values of Smith College, which include teaching the next generation of leaders about the importance of “stewarding the resources that sustain them.” The Smith community has demonstrated its support for full fossil fuel divestment time and time again, from a Student Body Referendum in April 2014 to the Student Government Association Resolution in February 2015 to a Faculty Petition that had 95 signatures as of August 2016. We understand that a decision to divest from fossil fuels must be balanced with the need to protect and grow the endowment, but we believe that this decision must be based on the interests of Smith College, not on those of Investure.

In line with the demands of Divest Smith College and the broader Smith community, we call on the Board of Trustees to:

  1. Cancel the two-year hiatus on taking further action towards fossil fuel divestment that was suggested by the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  2. Publish a financial analysis of potential divestment pathways and impacts, on par with those of our peer institutions like Barnard College.
  3. Identify pathways to full fossil fuel divestment with Investure or select a new endowment manager that will help Smith work towards a fossil fuel-free portfolio.

We expect a response to these demands no later than April 1, 2018.

Signed,

Gabriella Zutrau ‘16

Anna E. George ‘17

Eleanor Adachi ‘17

Meghan Kallman ‘05

Lee Weider Bridegam ‘63

Celeste Venolia ‘17

Ellen Monroe ‘15

Alyssa Johnson-Kurts ‘17

Natalya Crowley ‘17

Emma Swartz ‘16

Alejandra K Garcia ‘16

Kimberly Lu ‘17

Jessie Blum ‘15

Christine Hart ‘16

Monica Kim ‘16

Najwa Alsheikh ‘16

Olivia Sayah ‘17

Marc Fromm, MSW ‘96

Jennifer Dugan, MSW ‘96

Joanna Giordano ‘16

Emma Sager ‘15

Eliza Mongeau ‘16

Kye Garcia ‘16

Evelyn Golden ‘16

Monika Reifenstein ‘16

Aliya Nesser ‘17

Anna Carroll ‘16

Emily Kim ‘15

Hannah Findlay ‘16

Julia Graham ‘16

Olivia Cappello ‘16

Madeleine Stirling ‘14

Elise Parisian ‘16

Sarah Orsak ‘16

Mara Wolkoff ‘17

Anjali Kumar ‘17

Riley Mancuso ‘17

Misha Ritoch ‘17

Isa Ruggiero DuMond ‘17

Kati Giblin ‘15

Catherine Bradley ‘17

Barbara Blank ‘13

Kate Joachim, 2011-13

Laurie Macintosh ‘77

Shanice Bailey ‘17

Anna-Lise Pasch Santella ‘89

Devi Dearmon-Moore ‘16

Christina Bai ‘16

Sarah Needle ‘15

Alicia Bowling ‘17

Leslee Masten ‘80

Adrienne Klein ‘10

Shannon Walsh ‘16

Kathryn Hart ‘15

Monica Wang ‘09

Cherilyn McGlynn ‘15

Fuchsia M. Spring ‘15

Stefana Breitwieser ‘15

Paloma Nahon ‘18J

Karen Yu ‘16

Sadie Gold-Shapiro ‘16

Shelby Kim ‘18J

Isabella Levy ‘17

Celia Calder ‘17

Patricia Kopko ‘15

Hannah Sultan ‘12

Raven Fowlkes-Witten ‘17

Corinne Walther ‘15

Yuka Oiwa ‘16

Lyn Watts ‘17

Kathleen Ferrall ‘16

Celeste Andrews ‘12

Aarin Murray ‘10

Nina Schwartzman ‘10

Sophie Herreid ‘17

Kelly Nakashima ‘17

Elena Read ‘15

Khadejeh Al-Rijleh ‘16

Yingying Deng ‘16

Christie Chong ‘16

Fiona Druge ‘14

Caitlin Moriarty ‘16

Alex Asal ‘16

Siiri Bigalke ‘16J

Dara Kagan ‘12

Amanda Manocherian ‘14

Emma Martin ‘16

Sarah Hussain ‘13

Claire Clapp Adams ‘16

Erika Early ‘15

Emma Wade ‘13

Ariane S. Kelsey ‘15

Maya Kutz ‘15

Nina Merriam ‘17

Samantha Scovill ‘15

Jin Rui Yap ‘16

Andrea Schmid ‘17

Maria George ‘06

Kayla Sheets ‘00

Michelle Viscardi ‘15

Lisa Moline ‘84

Laura Paul ‘09

Jennie Blodgett ‘05

Susan Ross ‘69

Grace Maliska ‘14

Ollie Schwartz ‘13

Hannah Bernhard ‘15

Alexandra Grubb ‘15

Colgan Powell ‘17

Jocelyn Proietti ‘16

Elisa Worland ‘07

Alexandria Julius ‘14

Melina Packer ‘04

Lauren E. Grandpre ‘04

Sophie Schor ‘14

Laila Phillips ‘15

Jennifer Moorman ‘02

Piper Wentz Rothschild ‘76

Brigid Fitzgerald ‘10

Haley Graham ‘16

Eileen J. Marum, AC ‘05

Renae Gray ‘16

Judith Cain, AC ‘93

Rachel Bell ‘00

Marie Christine Jauregui ‘95

Amalia Charles ‘14

Rafi Darrow ‘15

Zara Jamshed ‘17

Victoria Dunch ‘14

Areej Jahangir ‘16

Catya Harrold, AC ‘01, M.Ed. ’04

Nicole Abramowski ‘09

Devin McFadden ‘14

Dona Upson ‘79

Madeleine Lifsey ‘15

Saraphina Masters ‘17

Wendy Hardenberg ‘05

Hana Sarfan ‘17

Molly Grover, AC ‘15

Adrienne Horne ‘14

Sol Dandara Frota ‘16

Laura Putnam ‘10

Christine Hoffman, Post-Baccalaureate ‘14

Jasmine Caruk ‘17

Molly Sauvain ‘11

Satya Rhodes-Conway ‘94

Laura Eichenhorn ‘10

Lisa Stark ‘10

Amy Webster Roumell ‘94

Annecaroline Clark ‘14

Elizabeth Newbury ‘03

Ranu Samatrai ‘84

Rosa Goldman ‘12

Alexandra S. McKeever ‘15

Rachel Walker ‘96

Rebecca Hofmann ‘04

Elizabeth Cooper Land ‘00

Jessamine Finch ‘12

Mira Kilpatrick ‘03

Gabriella della Croce ‘11

Emily Kulik ‘10

Sarah Deacon Hoadley ‘90

Gillian Tisdale ‘16

Claudia Tanney ‘16

Brianna Jackson ‘16

Emmett Wald ‘15

Alice Reznickova ‘10

Mary Haskell ‘63

Lee Weider Bridegam ‘63

Mary Wheelock McCormick ‘63

Jane Colman LaMotte ‘63

Hillary Knight ‘11

Lily Ann Ritter ‘15

Gabriela Caballero ‘13

Cynthia Sommer ‘75

Jen Larese ‘10

Kathryn Freeman ‘10

Sarah Nichols ‘10

Katelyn Lucy ‘09

Jennifer Guerin ‘14

Alexis Coleman ‘11

Davida Ginsberg ‘10

Nora Paul-Schultz ‘08

Hannah Kaplan-Hartlaub ‘15

Aisha Amin ‘17

Sarah Campbell ‘10

Darwin Pappas-Fernandes ‘17

Melissa MacDonald ‘07

Zoë Brian ‘17

Victoria Mandanas ‘13

Carla Dilgard ‘01

Emma Hathaway ‘17

Marivel Medina ‘15

Karin Honarvar ‘17

Chelsea Pimentel ‘17

Eliana Perlmutter ‘16

Elizabeth Haas ‘17

Carolyn Meyer ‘17

Anastasia Konefal ‘17

Olena Zozulevich ‘17

Becky Silverstein ‘04

Madeleine E. Bertin ‘97

Adrienne Griffin ‘86

Sophia Arnall ‘17

Jennifer Sturley ‘17J

Elizabeth M. Lee ‘97

Olivia Fauver ‘14

Candice Jeon ‘16

Nathalie Rockhill ‘64

Quincy Dean-Slobod ‘17

Elizabeth Liedel Turnbull ‘04

Ryan Newby ‘05

Kim E. Kie ‘84

Margaret Johnson ‘16

Louise Knauer ‘64

Ann Grilli ‘16

Sonya Condro Lukitosari ‘16

Frankie Scully ‘17

Brittany Bennett ‘16

Lauren Weston ‘15

 

(To add your name, sign the petition HERE!)


Get Involved!

This petition was organized by the Smith College Alumnae for Responsible Investing (SCARI). If you are interested in joining or receiving updates from SCARI, please fill out your contact information below.

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