Report of Divestment Initiatives at some ELCA colleges and universities.

Fossil Fuel Divestment initiatives at ELCS Colleges and Universities.


Gustavus Adolphus: Report for March, 2014.

A student group arising out of the Campus Greens, Divest Gustavus, with some encouragement from an alum, has taken this issue and run with it. See  They are running the effort themselves and have managed to engage the Administration in thoughtful dialogue exploration. They are reaching out to students, faculty, alumni and college Trustees. A summary of their efforts thus far is:

  • Created Divest Gustavus committee through the Gustavus Greens and established a Facebook presence.

  • Circulated a petition among student body, faculty, and alumni. Tabled at student involvement fair and plans to table next week.

  • Worked alongside budget officers to learn about endowment, investment, and planning a proposal to the Board of Trustees' Investment Committee.

  • Drafted a proposal to the Board's Investment Committee including a summary, background, goals, outcomes, projects, supporters, and letters of support/concern.

  • Researched 90 socially responsible mutual funds to propose to the Board's Investment Committee.

  • Planned meetings with Investment Committee members in April and May.
    Consulted with representatives of the Crossroads Program, Gustavus Democrats, and Investment Club.

  • Drafted a letter to send to alumni on fossil fuel divestment.
    Attended conferences and participated in phone and internet communications with other participating colleges and universities.

James Dontje

Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation

Gustavus Adolphus College


St. Olaf: Report for March 2014

My name is Will Lutterman, and I'm a sophomore at St. Olaf College. I am helping to co-organize a group here at St. Olaf. Overall, our campaign is going well, and we are working with faculty, staff, and college administrators to communicate with our Board of Regents about divestment. Overall, we are concerned about St. Olaf's investments in fossil fuels and are urging the Board of Regents to consider divestment not only because it is a financially responsible decision, but also because we have a fiduciary responsibility to future Oles.

  • Dependence on fossil fuels has no place in a sustainable future for our generation, our children or our children’s children. These resources will have to be relegated to the past, and we have the opportunity to be a part of this critical shift toward sustainable energy sources. Given our responsibility to future generations, we view this issue as an important moral question.

  • We understand that though fossil fuels make up a fraction of our assets, divesting from them may be complicated task. Yet we students feel it is important that we strive to fulfill our roles described in our St. Olaf mission statement as “responsible and knowledgeable citizens of the world.” 

    Currently, we have urged our Investment Committee to take a responsible step toward the future and divert funds away from fossil fuels and into alternative energy initiatives. We are also working to forge a strong connection between staff, faculty, students, alumni, and Board of Regents.

Will Lutterman


Pacific Lutheran University: Report for March, 2014

There has been only slight movement on PLU's campus around divestment. We have a student group, (Grassroots Environmental Activism Now, or GREAN) that is extraordinarily excited to take on this campaign. Many of them had the chance to see Bill McKibben when he came through Seattle, but are having some difficulty getting it started. This is most likely due to the vague nature of our endowment and the lack of common knowledge about where it is invested. Without that key information, the students are not sure how to begin. 
Some key administrators are supportive. A strong demand from the students would be helpful if the topic is to make it to the Investment Committee of our Board.
There is quite a lot of potential here at PLU, and I hope to have some good news to report to you by the end of the semester. 
Chris Cooley.