GPA Updates Log

Graduation Pledge Alliance - 5th Update for 2003-2004
Hello Pledge campaigners:
1. If you have been contacted by myself or Melissa Everett over the last several weeks and have not responded, please let us know how things are going for you Pledge-wise--and if we can be helpful in any ways. But even more important is telling us who at your school is most directly working on the project this year--especially if it is someone other than yourself. Not everyone has told us, even where some of you receiving this message graduated last year, and we need to send this and previous updates for this school year to current contacts.
2. This update focuses on materials available at the national web site for your effort (

 **  We will soon have a poster you can download and print out that can be used to publicize your effort and to raise consciousness on issues of social and environmental responsibility. There will be space on the poster for your local  contact info
 **  Downloadable Pledge cards and certificates are available now for signers. On the front side of cards are the Pledge itself and room for your school affiliation and a signature.  An optional back side (not backside!) for the card has info that will be helpful for signers in carrying out their commitment. It gives the national web address and web site info about (1workplace issues and social responsibility, (2) web links to socially responsible jobs, and (3) hints on making changes on the job. (To make the cards durable, consider laminating  them--or using contact paper as one school suggested.)
 ** Other documents are available for distribution to seniors that will help either in doing sign-ups (like a letter to seniors explaining the Pledge) or in providing materials that can be kept by seniors and utilized in carrying out the Pledge (like the document "Going Green after Graduation," or one which lists social responsibility issues to consider when applying for jobs)

We sincerely hope you can prepare some things like this that will keep the Pledge on the minds of signers both when they apply for a job and when they are on the job. Work situations don't always lend themselves well to signers carrying out the Pledge, so anything that promotes that will be helpful. 

** Though only briefly noted at the web site, we want to call your attention   to the use of green ribbons on graduation gowns during or surrounding graduation ceremonies. Such ribbons have become a standard way of identifying/celebrating those who are making a commitment. The less expensive (and more creative!) way is to cut strips from a roll of ribbon from a fabric store.  You can also get prefabricated ribbons from the Ribbon Factory Outlet at . 



P.S.  If you know anyone at other schools who might help get the project there, please pass along the below with an encouraging word. And have them contact us even if they are just considering doing the project this (or next) year. There is still time. 

Neil Wollman, National Coordinator
Graduation Pledge Alliance
MC Box 135
Manchester College
North Manchester, IN  46962
(260) 982-5346 


Humboldt State University (California) initiated the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. It 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 organizations for which I work." Students define what being "responsible" means to themselves. Students at well over a hundred colleges and universities have used the pledge at some level. The schools involved include small liberal arts colleges (Colgate and Skidmore); large state universities (Oregon and Utah), and large private research universities (Harvard and Stanford).. This now includes some schools overseas, graduate and professional schools, and high schools. Graduates who voluntarily signed the pledge have turned down jobs they did not feel morally comfortable with and have worked to make changes once on the job. For example, they have promoted recycling at their organization, removed racist language from a training manual, worked for gender parity in high school athletics, and helped to convince an employer to refuse a chemical weapons-related contract.

Manchester College now coordinates the campaign effort, which has taken different forms at different institutions. At Manchester, it is a community-wide event involving students, faculty, and staff. Typically, fifty percent of students sign and keep a wallet-size card stating the pledge, while students and supportive faculty wear green ribbons at commencement and the pledge is printed in the formal commencement program. Depending upon the school, it might take several years to reach this level of institutionalization. If one can just get a few groups/departments involved, and get some media attention on (and off) campus, it will get others interested and build for the future. The project has been covered in newspapers around the country (e.g., USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and Boston Globe), as well as being covered in magazines (e.g., Business Week), national radio networks (for instance, ABC), and local T.V. stations (like in Ft. Wayne, IN).

The pledge helps educate and motivate one to contribute to a better world. Think of the impact if even a significant minority of the one million college graduates each year signed and carried out the Pledge.

PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED OF ANY PLEDGE EFFORTS YOU UNDERTAKE, AS WE TRY TO MONITOR WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND PROVIDE PERIODIC UPDATES ON THE NATIONAL EFFORT. Contact for information/questions/comments; or write GPA, MC Box 135, Manchester College, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962. The Campaign also has a web site, at