Basic information for instituting a Graduation Pledge campaign...

Previous Page | Press Release 1999


Students from across the nation support
Manchester College-based Graduation Pledge Alliance

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - May 1, 1999 - College seniors across the nation soon will be gearing up for final exams, getting measured for caps and gowns, and searching for jobs. For some students, searching for a job means searching for companies or organizations that do not pollute streams, rivers, or the air; practice discriminatory or unfair business; or create an unfriendly work atmosphere. These students conscientiously go the extra mile in their job searches because they support a nation-wide effort based at Manchester College, the Graduation Pledge Alliance.

This voluntary pledge states:  "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider or any organization for which I work."  Taking the pledge is voluntary; students determine for themselves what they consider to be socially and environmentally responsible.

And the interest has been growing since Manchester College became the national headquarters of this effort in 1996.  Thus far, more than 300 people from across the United States and other countries have inquired about the pledge, including Katrina Steers. Steers, a junior at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., would like for her campus to adopt the pledge.  "I feel that if each person would take a piece of the responsibility for the world and its people, we could make a large difference in what is happening.  By starting a pledge movement at Siena, I hope to encourage other students to adopt this position and to actualize the goal of leaving this world as a better place than it currently is."

Supporters seem to be making a difference in the world.  Through anonymous surveys in the past, Manchester College has learned of inspiring examples set forth by pledge supporters. One Manchester College graduate reported on a survey:  "I told my boss of the pledge and my concerns.  He understood and agreed ... and the company did not pursue the (chemical warfare) project."  Another graduate reported:  "Now I make an effort to teach and think about social and environmental responsibility on a daily basis." Some have been concerned with recycling at their company. Others have turned down jobs they did not feel morally comfortable with.

Manchester College's graduates have supported the pledge since 1988.  Since that time, about 60 percent of the graduating classes sport a green ribbon on their gowns during commencement exercises as a public show of their support.  All Manchester College supporters also receive a wallet-size card and a certificate on which the pledge is printed.  The pledge's text also is printed in the commencement program.

Students at other colleges and universities practice various methods to publicly demonstrate their support. The following colleges and universities (or departments or groups of students from these institutions) either supported the pledge last year or will likely support it this year--and a number of others are possibilities:  Barry University, Denison University, Earlham College, Eastern College, Farmingham Stae College, Goshen College, Harvard University, Humboldt State University, Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Juniata College, Luther College, Lewis and Clark University Law School, Madonna University, Manchester College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mercyhurst College, Olivet College, Ripon College, Siena College, Southampton College of Long Island University, Southwest State University, St. Cloud University, Tufts University, University of Chicago, University of Kansas, University of Maryland University College, University of Notre Dame,  University of Rochester, University of Vermont, Whitman College, and Willamette University.

For further information, contact, or visit web site at and select "Graduation Pledge Alliance."

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 1,045 students from 23 states and 23 countries.  Ninety-eight percent of its graduates find employment within six months of commencement.

*** Since distribution of this press release,
note a number of changes, listed below. ***

  • Many more schools are involved.
  • The new pledge wording is, "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 organizations for which I work."

*The Graduation Pledge is one of the projects sponsored by the Peace Studies Institude of Manchester College

  • Manchester College
  • MC Peace Studies
  • The National Index of Violence and Harm
  • TIAA-CREF Campaigns for Social Responsibility: Social Choice for Social Change :: TIAA-CREF - Out of the Bad and Into the Good :: Pledge to a New Socially Responsible Fund


GPA, MC Box 135, Manchester College, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962, or send e-mail to: