A look back to our work in 2014-2015, including our original petition that lead to the trustee's current plan to confront climate change...

This year, a majority of students and faculty, and hundreds of alumni asked the trustees to begin moving endowment investments away from fossil fuel companies. Their response commits to important investments in education, campus energy efficiency, and renewable energy technology, but completely closes the door to divestment. There was no willingness to innovate and provide leadership for our peer institutions on a major challenge: decoupling our financial interest in an industry that works against our mission.

The companies we currently invest in put our future at risk by extracting the carbon that will dramatically change our climate. To ensure their profit, they fund campaigns to cast doubt on established climate science. This is not an appropriate business for Williams to invest in. We're disappointed that the trustees have refused to even try to confront this problem. 

So, we continue to ask for divestment. Because this is a challenge we can overcome. 

Please consider and sign our petition below to demonstrate your preference that the investment strategy for our endowment should reflect the best climate science and the College’s core values of civic leadership, integrity, and service to society at large. You may read the full proposal submitted on 12/10/14, and our response to the trustees' decision.

Also, consider the petition to give more to Williams if divestment and better emissions standards are reached.

This initiative is put together by Williams alumni, students, faculty, & staff. Join us!

Recent Press:

Williams alum returns honorary degree in protest of College's climate plan. WAMC, 10/23/15
Williams divestment movement disappointed at College's climate change strategy
Berkshire Eagle, 9/26/15
Divestment and Leadership. Professors Merrill and Swamy in the Williams Record, 9/23/15
No rest until we divest. Alex Griffin '18 in the Williams Record, 9/16/15
Divestment group says Williams College climate change plans fall short. WAMC, 9/14/15

Petition to the Williams College Board of Trustees:


We ask the Williams College Trustees to:

  1. screen out all future investments in the top 200 fossil-fuel companies;
  2. within five years, divest the endowment of all direct and indirect investments in these same companies;
  3. reinvest in opportunities that will reduce the college's reliance on fossil fuels and companies that will enact solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

We believe that reinvestment over five years can be accomplished without adding risk to the endowment's financial return and we are excited for Williams to lead our peer institutions forward, ensuring that our investment operations are inline with our sustainability policies.


750 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 747 reactions

  • Mei Mei Chan, 2017
    signed 2019-05-03 02:44:26 -0400
  • Nikolay Stoykov '20
    signed via 2016-12-14 15:47:26 -0500
  • David Tobis
    signed 2016-10-21 11:34:25 -0400
  • Peter Swanson  class 65
    signed 2016-06-28 14:35:05 -0400
    To me divestment is statement by Williams about the importance of climate change and need to address the human contributions to climate change.
  • Mack Radin
    signed 2016-04-15 15:42:27 -0400
  • Michael Ramberg '00
    signed 2016-04-14 01:30:00 -0400

    Gargoyle Society

    Lehman Community Engagement
  • Samuel Reinert '18
    signed 2016-04-12 23:53:42 -0400
  • Susanna Lang '77
    signed 2016-04-12 22:54:07 -0400
    Susanna Lang ’77

    When I attended Williams, one of the things I valued was my faculty’s commitment to creating a better world. I would like to think that Williams is still committed to making our world a better place for my child and his children.
  • Rick Cohen
    signed 2016-04-12 14:52:40 -0400
    Eirann Cohen
  • Marlene Broad
    signed 2016-04-12 14:42:35 -0400
  • David A. Barnes
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-12 13:22:43 -0400
    Join me in helping Williams College divest the endowment of fossil fuels and reinvest in a secure endowment and future.
  • David Barnes
    signed 2016-04-12 13:21:17 -0400
    Class of 1980. I believe Williams College should at the vanguard of the fossil=fuel divestment movement.

    What is good for the planet and what is good for the college cannot be in conflict:

    they are one and the same.
  • Heather Foran '04
    signed 2016-03-28 16:10:42 -0400
    Heather Foran ’04
  • Isabella Huang '18
    signed 2016-03-08 07:41:32 -0500
  • Marieme S., 2016
    signed 2016-03-04 14:53:12 -0500
  • Stella Worters 2018
    signed via 2016-03-03 12:10:31 -0500
  • Abel Romero, '19
    signed via 2016-03-01 22:28:25 -0500
    Freshman, ’19.

    Williams, divestment needs to happen. If the mission of this institution is at all concerned with society’s future, it must commit to protecting the planet for the future generations it is educating to inhabit it.
  • Gabrielle Markel '17
    signed 2016-03-01 21:56:44 -0500
  • Emma Zehner
    signed 2016-03-01 21:56:04 -0500
  • Paul Griffith '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:55:09 -0500
  • Mia Gancayco
    signed 2016-03-01 21:54:38 -0500
  • William Ouweleen
    signed 2016-03-01 21:53:46 -0500
  • Phacelia Cramer '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:53:14 -0500
  • Grace Mabie '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:52:35 -0500
  • Grace Fan '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:51:35 -0500
  • Hattie Schapiro
    signed 2016-03-01 21:51:01 -0500
  • Jesse Facey '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:50:15 -0500
  • Laney Teaford
    signed 2016-03-01 21:48:46 -0500
  • John Marando '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:48:11 -0500
  • Thomas E. Ragucci '19
    signed 2016-03-01 21:46:37 -0500