Pitzer College Responsible Endowment Fund

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It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce the opening of the Pitzer College Responsible Endowment Fund!

Current Balance: $11,677

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*All donations are tax-deductible

The Pitzer College Responsible Endowment Fund is a project organized by the Claremont Colleges Divestment Campaign in conjunction with The Responsible Endowment Coalition. As you may be aware, Pitzer has currently not made a commitment to divest its endowment from fossil fuels.

        We believe that such a progressive, environmentally conscious institution should be at the forefront of this movement. Pitzer is a college deeply committed to cultivating students who are innately aware of our ability to affect positive change in the world around us. Its core values emphasize Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability. More importantly, they state “These values are mere words until we practice them” and that “we are committed to the hard work and dedication this will demand” (Pitzer Community Values). It is clear that while divestment is only one of many tools that can be used to oppose the fossil fuel industry, it is one that Pitzer should utilize.

The Pitzer College REF is a donor advised fund that has been set up on our behalf by The Responsible Endowment Coalition through the Triskeles Foundation. The fund will be invested in a fossil free, socially responsible manner. A committee made up of responsible investment experts, students, and board members from the Responsible Endowments Coalition works with Federal Street Advisors to advise the Triskeles Foundation on investment decisions for the Fund. To learn more about the investment strategy, click here. By having the contents of the fund invested instead of being held as cash, we can demonstrate the benefits of a responsibly invested endowment.

Our goal is that the presence of this fund will encourage Pitzer to make the commitment to divesting its endowment from fossil fuels. In order to receive any portion of the fund, there are two deadlines that the College should be mindful of:

March 1, 2015: By this date, Pitzer College must have provided a selected representative of the Claremont Colleges Divestment Campaign with a written agreement expressing its commitment, thereby legally binding the institution to fully divest its endowment  from fossil fuel companies.* If the College provides such an agreement by this date, the full balance to date of the fund will be donated to Pitzer College’s General Fund, and the fund will be terminated. If the College has not provided such an agreement by this date, 50% of the balance to date will be donated in the form of two equal contributions to Communities for a Better Environment and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (two prominent environmental justice organizations in Southern California).

If Pitzer does not provide an agreement by March 1, 2015,  the next deadline is:

March 1,2020: By this date, Pitzer College must provide documentation that it has successfully divested its endowment from fossil fuels.* If such evidence is provided, the remaining contents of the fund will be donated to Pitzer College’s General Fund. If the College does not provide evidence of divestment by this date, the remaining contents of the fund will be donated in the form of two equal contributions to Communities for a Better Environment and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice.

*200 publicly-traded companies as outlined on Fig. 5 on pgs. 13-14 of “Unburnable Carbon”, Carbon Tracker Initiative, March 2012

For the full terms of the fund, please click here.

We believe that this is the time show our commitment to our core values. As parents and alumni, you have the power to send a message with your contributions to the College. The college takes pride in its strong parent and alumni networks, and we believe that as past and present contributors to this community, you should have your voice heard as well.

This fund enables us to put a monetary value on how much support Pitzer has in leading the march of colleges and universities to develop fossil-free endowments. That being said, the Pitzer REF is a place to make donations that you would normally make to the school. Perhaps you would want to give even more to express your support for Pitzer  to act in accordance with its core values and mission statement, and to become a pioneer of schools with responsibly invested endowments.

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For Information or questions regarding the fund, its terms, or policies, please feel free to contact us at: pitzer.ref@gmail.com

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