Below you will find a basic template for an alumni letter to send to President DeGioia. We are excited for your support and involvement! Your solidarity and support as an alumni is crucial to our cause and your willingness to send a letter adds that much more of a voice to the message of divestment. We thank you! You rock!
Basic Letter for Alumni to Send
Note to Alumni: This is only a template; your letter will carry even greater weight if you personalize it. If it is possible for you to coordinate a letter drop off or mass- mailing with other concerned alums, the impact of your action will be amplified.
The content of this letter was originally developed by the students of Swarthmore Mountain Justice and the Responsible Endowments Coalition.
President John DeGioia
President, Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
Re: Fossil Fuel Divestment
Dear President DeGioia,
As a graduate of Georgetown, I know firsthand the high quality of education provided to students. I appreciate not only the education I received, but also the values that Georgetown instilled in me—a critical perspective on the world and a focus on social justice. I am also proud that the University has become a leader in sustainability and sought to involve students in decision-making.
Considering this leadership role, I find it contradictory that Georgetown invests its endowment—and therefore alumni donations—in the fossil fuel industry. Extraction and consumption of fossil fuels pollute the natural environment, deteriorate health, and exacerbate climate change. Though we all feel these impacts, they disproportionately affect poor communities and communities of color.
Unfortunately, efforts to transition away from fossil fuels have been hindered by the industry’s money, political connections, and tacit acceptance from institutions like ours. This is where Georgetown can play a role by publicly ending its investments in fossil fuels. A mass divestment movement can both harm these corporations’ bottom lines and delegitimize them in the court of public opinion, aiding communities’ efforts to reclaim their land, health, and economies. Many leaders in the environmental community have joined students on more than 200 campuses across the country in calling for divestment. Students have already raised this issue on campus, giving Georgetown the opportunity to lead this blossoming movement.
[Optional: Additionally, I would be thrilled to commit to pledging $X to the Multi-School Divestment Fund, which will be disbursed to the University once fossil fuel divestment has been achieved. I believe this transition is fundamentally important to the integrity of this institution and plan on encouraging other alumni to make the same commitment.]
I am aware that the GU Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility has produced an alternative proposal suggesting a limited course of divestment from a smaller number of companies deemed “worst actors.” It is my view that taking this route would greatly weaken the bold statement that comprehensive divestment stands to make—every company on the list provided by GU Fossil Free holds vast fossil fuel reserves and fully plans on extracting them. Divesting from only a subset of them would draw unfounded moral distinctions between corporations whose business practices are all worthy of redress. I hope that Georgetown will not compromise its values by accepting any alternative to comprehensive divestment on the basis of carbon reserves.
I believe that the University should, in addition to divesting, ensure that its entire endowment is sustainably managed. Our institution has a stated mission and enshrines our values in policies that affect all campus operations. Adding such values to our investment criteria would not only strengthen our mission, it would also provide a superb example of the active ownership our graduates should seek to practice. I ask that Georgetown divest its endowment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies in the industry and that the Board of Directors will vote yes to divest at their next meeting in May/June.
Class of ‘