Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Last night, Board of Managers Chair Tom Cock ‘78 announced that Swarthmore’s entire endowment will take a position at the University of Denver. The departure follows three Swarthmore administrators, including President Rebecca Chopp, switching to U. Denver in the past three years.
“I write with mixed emotions to share that the Swarthmore endowment has taken a position at the University of Denver, as the Special Endowment for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence,” Cock wrote in an all-campus email that nobody could read because wi-fi has been switched off to save money. “Our endowment is a valued asset to the Swarthmore community, which makes celebrating this news bittersweet. I am, however, incredibly excited to see what good the endowment can do at the University of Denver.”
Members of Swarthmore Mountain Justice, who had been excited to hear the much-anticipated “News About the Endowment,” withdrew to their rooms in bitter disappointment and confusion after they heard what happened. Stefan O’Hamper ‘17, who has worked on the divestment campaign for three years, criticized the high degree of endowment turnover at Swarthmore.
“We worked for three long years on pushing this fucking endowment out of fossil fuels, and just when we thought we might succeed, it just packs up and leaves,” O’Hamper said. “It’s like, was all that work for nothing? Now we’ll probably get some sleazy hedge-fund for an endowment. Great.”
Others, however, were happy to see the endowment go.
“This endowment was all style, no substance,” said Intern for Endowment Praxis Druide deFluid ‘20. “If you think about it, it got very little done on the ground. I’m excited to work with a more innovative endowment in the future.”
Dean of Students Liz Braun assured students that a search committee will be formed to find a new endowment within one or two years.
“We will be working hard with our partners to find a suitable candidate, but nobody can quite fill the hole left behind by the current endowment,” Braun said. “In the meantime, please turn off the lights when you leave a room, and tuition has been doubled.”