Environmental Stewardship Meets Fiduciary Responsibility

Posted by Scott Allenby


At the core of Proctor’s DNA is a deep commitment to environmental stewardship. From its earliest years to recent solar installations around campus, an appreciation for the relationship we, as a community, have with our environment has been central to our mission. Former Head of School David Fowler (1970-1995), reflects during a recent conversation on this long-standing focus on environmental stewardship in the video below. Student appreciation for Proctor’s Environmental Mission Statement as seen in this AP Environmental Science blog post by Hannah Brochu ‘17, mirrors our institutional commitment. 


This past weekend was yet another reminder of Proctor's commitment to sustainability as our Board of Trustees spent time meeting with faculty, staff, and students to further Proctor’s mission.


One particular conversation proved especially fruitful. Tom Morgan’s Environmental Literature students engaged with trustee Chris Ray P ‘08 (Chair of Proctor's Investment Committee) and past parent and trustee Alex Williams P’12 (who now manages Proctor's investments as a part of his role at UBS) around the issue of divestment from fossil fuels in Proctor’s endowment. This student-led initiative to better understand the school's investment strategy provided the opportunity for Chris and Alex to explain the board’s fiduciary responsibility to govern the school, as well as the specific strategies the Investment Committee uses to make investment decisions.

Proctor Academy Campus
During the conversation, Chris and Alex informed students Proctor does not hold any direct investments in fossil fuels and are enthusiastic about Proctor's SRI (socially responsible investment) endowment continuing to grow as a percentage of the school's overall endowment. Additionally, they also encouraged investment in opportunities to further Proctor's environment mission statement, knowing divestment from fossil fuels alone is just one step toward a much greater mission. 
Students left inspired by the knowledge and expertise within our Board of Trustees, realizing Proctor’s leadership has long been on the leading edge of socially responsible investment strategies and is eager to continue to explore new opportunities to further live our environmental mission statement. Senior Taylor Methven '16 reflected, “The high point of the meeting for me was when Gracie asked, 'What can we do as students to continue this effort?' In his response, Alex encouraged us to educate the Proctor community about sustainable investment by making announcements, writing articles, designing infographics, and reaching out to alumni. The more community support there is for sustainable investment within the larger Proctor Community, the quicker we can further grow our SRI endowment.” 
Give to Proctor's SRI Endowment Today!

Chris and Alex also left the conversation inspired by the student’s inquisitiveness and genuine desire to understand the multitude of challenges surrounding endowment investments and encouraged the class to raise awareness around the opportunities for divestment within the Proctor and alumni community. 


Proctor Academy Ski Area Solar

These types of conversations are critical as they continue to bridge the gap between Board members and students. We are fortunate our Board of Trustees actively seeks out engagement opportunities with students because the more these bridges are built, the deeper the trust that develops among community members. Regardless of our role within the Proctor community, we have the privilege of believing in, and working toward realizing the same mission. Sometimes we only see a piece of that mission given our role, but developing relationships with those in different roles allows us to better appreciate the big picture and shared goals. 

Sign the Divest PA Petition Today to Show Your Support!



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