Climate Change and Divestment

June 2, 2017

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I want to share my personal views with you on climate change and divestment. I am deeply disappointed and concerned with President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. I have joined other university, business and elected leaders in reaffirming a commitment to our climate goals. I also want to express my personal support for divestment from fossil fuels and continuing to explore how we can do so responsibly. Climate change is a defining issue for our students’ generation and their future. I stand with all who are committed to addressing it with a sense of urgency. Seattle University has made significant progress in recent years through our operations and programming to do our part, including the work of the President’s Committee for Sustainability (PCS) in implementing our Climate Action Plan.

I appreciate the leadership and statements of support for divestment from many students, faculty and staff, including Sustainable Student Action, student government, Academic Assembly, the PCS and the Indigenous Peoples Institute. Last fall, the Board of Trustees adopted a set of task force recommendations that moved the university forward toward divestment.

Yesterday’s action by the Trump Administration compels us to do more. I personally support divestment because of the gravity of the issue and its consequences for humanity. I believe the university must do so in a responsible way that minimizes or does no harm to our endowment. The endowment provides significant support for our students, faculty and mission through investments made possible by the contributions of many generous donors. I look forward to working further on this issue with the Socially Responsible Investments Advisory Working Group and the Board of Trustees.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.