I thought that the “Graduation Pledge Campaign” might be of interest to AID chapters. Please read below for more information!

“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 at over a hundred colleges and universities have made this “graduation pledge”. From small liberal arts colleges (Colgate and Macalester) to large state universities (Oregon and Utah) to large private research universities (University of Pennsylvania and Duke) to schools abroad (Taiwan and Australia), students have pledged to be socially and environmentally responsible in their lives after graduation. Graduates who signed the pledge have chosen jobs according to the pledge principles and have worked to promote environmental and social responsibility once on the job. For example, they have promoted recycling at their organization, removed racist language from a training manual and worked for gender parity in high school athletics.

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. Students sign and keep a wallet-size card stating the pledge, while students and supportive faculty wear green ribbons at commencement. The pledge is printed in the formal commencement program. The project has been featured in newspapers such as USA Today, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, and the Chronicle of Higher Education) as well as prominent magazines such as Business Week and national radio networks such as ABC.

In a sense, the Pledge operates at three levels: students making choices about their employment; schools educating about values and citizenship rather than only knowledge and skills; and the workplace and society being concerned about more than just the bottom line. The impact is immense even if only a significant minority of the one million college graduates each year sign and live out the Pledge. You can learn more about the Campaign at http://www.graduationpledge.org/ or contact Neil at NJWollman@Manchester.org with any questions or to find out how to get involved. Be sure to let Neil know if you’re considering starting any pledge efforts!