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Previous Page | Press Release 2001


Green symbolizes support of Manchester College-based social, environmental pledge.

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. April 25, 2001 College seniors across the country are seeing green in their futures and it's not the color of money.

Instead, it's a green ribbon they'll sport on their gowns during this year's commencement exercises as a public symbol of their support of the Manchester College-based Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility.

At Manchester College, the pledge states: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work." The pledge reads the same on most campuses, while its wording is tweaked at others.

What does the pledge mean to its supporters? For some, it has meant establishing recycling programs at their places of employment, pushing for greater involvement of women in high school athletics, and eliminating racist language in a training manual among other actions.

Those actions, taken together, help to better the world, the pledge's national coordinator believes. "Instituting the pledge gets at the heart of a good education and can benefit society as whole," Neil Wollman, the coordinator, said. "Not only does it remind students of the ethical implications of the knowledge and training they received, but it can help lead to a socially-conscious citizenry and a better world."

The pledge has gained support since Manchester College became the national headquarters in 1996. Students from 70-100 campuses ranging from small colleges such as Olivet and Skidmore to major universities such as Harvard and Stanford are supporting the pledge this year, up from the 50 campuses that supported it last spring. (Harvard has supported the pledge it's known as GradPledge there for the past two years.)

By May 2002, the pledge will be implemented in some form at the country's eight Ivy League campuses. During the Greening of the Ivies conference at Princeton in February, student environmental leaders decided that their respective campuses would support the pledge by May 2002.

The pledge has even gotten the attention of high-school age students. A student at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities a school for gifted juniors and seniors has been instrumental in getting the administration to recognize the pledge at this year's commencement. Like their counterparts at some college campuses, the pledge-takers at the academy will wear green ribbons.

Manchester College an independent, liberal arts college located in North Manchester, Ind., and a college of the Church of the Brethren offers more than 45 areas of study to more than 1,100 students from 20 states and 23 countries.


Note to editors: Do you want to talk with the contact person from a particular campus? Do you want a list of all of the colleges participating? Contact the Office of Public Relations at (260) 982-5285 or (888) 257-2586.

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