To the Editor:
Gail and I met on our first day of orientation at Swarthmore and have been married almost 49 years. Although we don’t agree on everything, we both feel that our alma mater needs to divest from fossil fuel investments. We strongly support the students who are sitting in and would probably be there at their sides if we didn’t live in Colorado.
Our class will be celebrating our 50th reunion in June. Here is a letter we wrote to the class of 1965, which is planning on donating the Class of 1965 Scholarship to the College:
Gail and I will not be donating to the Scholarship. It is not that we don’t love our alma mater; indeed, we do. It is not that we don’t love the class of 1965; indeed, we are very appreciative of the friends we spent four formative years with — many of whom are still friends. It is that we feel a strong obligation to the future, and especially to our three granddaughters.
One of the ways we can help modify the rate of climate change is to divest from coal, oil, and gas. We signed a pledge to not contribute to Swarthmore’s endowment until the Board of Managers divests from investments in fossil fuels, and we are living up to that pledge.
Fortunately, there are alternative, positive ways to make a financial contribution to the college. We have chosen the President’s Climate Commitment Fund, which is not invested in the endowment and which is used to support sustainability at the college. Swarthmore already has an environmental studies program, and this Fund will help bolster that program.
When we are on campus in June we look forward to seeing the solar electric-vehicle recharging station that is being designed by students and the Fund is helping to build. We are happy that our donation to Swarthmore will maximize good to the college and minimize unintended consequences. We are also pleased that our donation will count toward the Class of 1965 total donation.
Richard and Gail (Sise) Grossman ’65