John Alston, faces of commuity performers of the Mozart Requium, Lang Music Center, 2005  Our community at the Swarthmore All-Community Performance of the Mozart Requium, 2005.  The College awarded John Alston (btm cntr) an honorary degree in 2015. 


Jerry Nelson '65
with thanks to alumni & student friends


that an intense campaign for divestment of fossil fuel investments has been raging at the College for five years, and spilling out into national newspapers (Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Times, Manchester Guardian here and here).  They don't realize because the College tightly controls emailing lists and news. 
The author of this page, Jerry Nelson '65, not speaking officially for campus activist groups like Swarthmore Mountain Justice, urges you to sign up! They want your input, and you're not going to hear much without theirs.

RESOURCE 1. Sign up.
Enter the email pool, join us at
You will be signing a petition to the Board (needed, helpful, do it), but, in my opinion, don't feel you have to commit to any other action if you just want to get on top of the situation first.

RESOURCE 2. Two Plans for college donations:
Vote with your donation, use one of these two climate-sensitive plans.
Please support the College financially, more generously than ever, but make your money a vote for change by putting your donation into only one or both of these two funds.  In both cases, the College will get all your money.  The Escrowed Funds flow to the endowment if the College divests, otherwise funds go to the Eugene Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility for more climate activism.  The President's Climate Commitment Fund is spent down immediately for a greener campus and greater climate awareness. 

RESOURCE 3, document: "We Divest for Social Ostracism and Public Humiliation"
"If we sell, someone else will buy."  Many  think divestment is all about stock price and shareholder proxy votes.  No.  Divestment is a moral statement and a political action.  Why does the College take an immoral position that adds to the evil in the world?  This author thinks structural problems have gradually arisen in College governance. Two hard-to-fix problems for the price of one? 

document: "Why We Can Never Divest Again.  The Backlash Against South African Divestment"
The College divested from South African to stop Apartheid only after 12 years of pressure, and with enough ill will to pass a resolution a year later barring the Board of Managers from ever again divesting for socio-political reasons.   The need to overturn this resolution unites the divestment campaign of 1978-1990 with the fossil fuel divestment movement today.

RESOURCE 5, document "Fossil Fuel Divestment FAQ"
The official position of student and alumni activists for divestment, answering objections often heard from others.  The Escrow Fund for Divestment pressures the College to divest (the President's Climate Commitment Fund does not), and here is why the people who created The Escrow Fund think you should contribute to (through) it.  This FAQ was a campus-wide handout on Alumni Weekend 2015. 

RESOURCE 6, document "How Swarthmore Chose Excellence.  A Brief Sketch of the 1800s."
At the start of the 1900s, the President pressured the Board to choose academic excellence . . . and pay for it!  Today, it is the Board that pressures the President, who has become fundraiser-in-chief.

jerry-va atremovethistext speakeasy net