• The Full Petition Text


    Dear University President Alivisatos, Chief Investment Officer Andy Ward, and Board of Trustees:


    We, alumni of The University of Chicago, demand the University stop using its endowment to accelerate climate change and cease investing it in fossil fuels.


    As alumni who care about the reputation, legacy, and impacts of our alma mater, we hereby pledge to withhold any donations to the University until it has divested from fossil fuels.


    The University’s stated mission,“let knowledge grow from more to more, and so be human life enriched (crescat scientia, vita excolatur),” is absolutely incompatible with its financial support for the fossil fuel operations that are accelerating our trajectory towards an unlivable future. In October, 2023, students filed a complaint against the University with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, arguing the University’s fossil fuel investments violate its responsibilities as a non-profit institution. We express support for the complaint and amplify the arguments in the excerpt below:


    More than any other, the fearless and rigorous pursuit of truth for its own sake underpin this university’s identity. Fossil fuel companies have long engaged in a well-documented campaign to undermine climate science and distort public debate about how to deal with the climate crisis. The industry’s spread of scientific misinformation and funding of questionable research undermines the work of faculty and students who are designing solutions for a sustainable future. Likewise, the flow of fossil fuel money to politicians and think tanks has diverted or delayed serious government action to address the climate crisis, placing a special burden on young people whose futures will be most impacted by these investments. Even as the University sets and pursues ambitious climate goals in its own operations, the Board channels funds to an industry committed to winning short-term profits at the expense of the public good.


    The climate crisis is already wreaking havoc across the globe, particularly in the Global South, and younger generations will only face a more hostile and volatile climate. Current students, including through the work of Divest UChicago, should not have to spend their time and energy trying to convince University leadership to stop contributing to the destruction of their futures. We applaud their efforts speaking truth to power, and we express solidarity with their work.


    By signing this petition, we join thousands of others in the University community, making the below five demands of the University:


    1) Immediately freeze any new investments in the fossil fuel industry (exploration and extraction) and liquidate current investments in the fossil fuel industry within the next 5 years, whether direct or commingled.


    2) Commit to regularly disclosing updated data on holdings in fossil fuel companies, including comprehensive data on the progress of divestment and the reinvestment of those funds.


    3) Commit to de-carbonizing the endowment, reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 in line with the University’s existing Sustainability Plan for campus emissions.


    4) Set public environmentally and socially just guidelines for investments based on input from students, faculty, staff, and other community stakeholders. Note that universities whose endowments have “socially responsible investment” policies have higher donations, more student enrollment, and more extensive risk management in the endowment fund.


    5) Create a recurring committee of students, faculty, staff, and other community stakeholders to facilitate the divestment process and ensure that investment decisions follow established environmentally and socially just guidelines.



    Have you signed it yet?

  • Signatories

    1. David Suzuki, Ph.D, Zoology and founder of the David Suzuki Foundation
    2. Katharine Bierce, A.B. Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa
    3. Michael Hendrix, A.B. Political Science
    4. Maureen Craig, A.B. Mathematics
    5. Jonathan Xia, M.S. Computer Science
    6. Liana Lan, M.P.P., Harris School
    7. Marc Amante, A.B. Environmental Studies
    8. Melissa Kops, A.B. Art History
    9. Will Stedden, PhD Biophysics
    10. Anonymous
    11. Emily Stanback, A.M. Humanities
    12. Marilyn Sargent Humanities BA
    13. Vivian Y Chang MD
    14. Sara Wichner, SB Chemistry
    15. Pat Brent, B.A. Mathematics & B.A. Psychology
    16. Anne Szustek Talbot, AB NELC/Linguistics; AM Middle Eastern Studies
    17. Isabella Velásquez, MSc Analytics; BA Econ
    18. Hannah Green, B.A. Political Science, 2010; MaPP 2022
    19. Kate Schlachter, MA
    20. Liat Spiro, AB History and International Studies
    21. Blake McGhghy, MAPSS
    22. Alexandra Taborga, B.A. Visual Arts
    23. Theo Burtis, B.A. English
    24. Anonymous
    25. Anonymous
    26. Steven Pelcovits, BA EALC
    27. Rey Echevarria, MS Computer Science
    28. Natalie Nussbaum, B.A., Psychology
    29. Anonymous
    30. Judy Greene, MA
    31. Shai Basys, MBA
    32. Sam Bonar, BA Physics
    33. Chris Furuya, BA English
    34. Sujata Rajpurohit, B.A. Public Policy
    35. Xiao Wei AB Economics
    36. Anonymous
    37. Seth Cothrun, M.A.
    38. Tony D’Andrea, PhD
    39. Alexander Belyi, Math and Econ AB
    40. Iris Brauer, B.A. Law, Letters, and Society
    41. Anonymous
    42. Orion Montoya, B.A. Classics
    43. Adrianna Barnett, BA Sociology
    44. Anya Metzer, MA Humanities (MAPH)
    45. Emily Cracolici, MA, MPP
    46. Anonymous
    47. Maddy Boesche, AM Social Work
    48. Alexandra Ensign, BA Cinema and Media Studies
    49. Kate Dulin, A.M. Social Work
    50. Phoebe Seltzer, BA Chemistry
    51. Abby Bingham, B.A. Biological Sciences
    52. Delaney Moore, B.A., Political Science & History
    53. Gabriela Garcia, A.B. Classical Studies, A.B. Computer Science
    54. Watson Lubin, M.A. Social Sciences
    55. Ana Gonzalez, BA ENST & LLSO
    56. Daphne de Beistegui, B.A. Fundamentals: Issues and Texts
    57. Sage Rossman, B.A. Neuroscience
    58. Dmitri Leybman, B.A. Political Science and English
    59. Anonymous
    60. Anonymous
    61. Anonymous
    62. Kirsten Madsen, B.A. Anthropology
    63. Ezra Serrins, M.P.P.
    64. Sasha Diaz, B.A. Comparative Human Development with minor in English/Creative Writing
    65. Derek Brockbank, BA Political Science
    66. Rick Mordesovich, MBA
    67. Anonymous
    68. Robert Michaelson, S.B. Chemistry
    69. Gabrielle Wimer, BA History, Philosophy, and Social Study of Science and Medicine
    70. Trevor Gay, M.A. American History
    71. Alice May, BA English, Gender Studies
    72. Elizabeth Ortiz, BA Political Science
    73. Liana Lan, MPP
    74. Veasna Has, B.A. Anthropology
    75. Ethan Dubin, B.A. TAPS
    76. R. Woodrow Setzer, B.A. Mathematics
    77. Hannah Manshel, BA ISHUM
    78. Jake Grubman, B.A., Law, Letters, and Society
    79. Nathalie Chicoine, B.S. Astrophysics, B.A. English Literature
    80. Andrew Boshardy, BA, MS
    81. Emily O’Heir, B.A. Classics
    82. Alexandra Taborga, B.A. Visual Arts
    83. Joyce Lu B.A. Anthropology, B.S. Biological Sciences
    84. Summer Fields Hayda, B.A., Sociology
    85. Ruby Rorty, B.A. Econ & Environmental & Urban Studies
    86. Ann-Kristin Sundell, BA Biology
    87. Hope Houston, BA in History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
    88. Amy Ezrin, BA Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
    89. Caroline Wooten, BA Religious Studies
    90. Sam Zacher, BA Economics, Political Science
    91. Heriberrto Leon, M.A. International Relations
    92. Annie Sanders, B.A. Environmental Studies
    94. Faith Bugel, B.A. Political Science
    95. Elisa Vargas, AB Art History
    96. Anonymous
    97. Robert Factor, A.B., Biology
    98. Lily Hong, BA Anthropology & Law, Letters, & Society
    99. Anonymous
    100. Elisa Epstein, B.A. NELC
    101. Mythili Vinnakota BA Econ, PhD Public Policy
    102. Varsha Sundar B.A. Public Policy
    103. Maren Spolum B.A. HIPS
    104. Zachary Upton-Davis, BA Physics
    105. Anonymous
    106. Mara Marin, PhD in Political Science
    107. Daniel Harris, B.A. History
    108. Sandy Carter, BA Environ Studies, Political Science
    109. Sarah Pickman, AB Anthropology
    110. Natalie Nitsch B.A. Classics, Religious Studies, Medieval Studies; M.A. Divinity
    111. Anonymous
    112. Sneha Thayil A.B. Political Science
    113. Isabella Levy B.A. Psychology
    114. Robert Graham B.S. Geophysical Sciences
    115. Anonymous
    116. Cynthia Anderson B.A.
    117. Christine Keagy B.A., M.A.
    118. Théo Evans B.A. Sociology, M.A. Social Science
    119. Sampurna Khasnabis MA Public Policy
    120. Ibrahim Rashid Masters in Public Policy
    121. Emily Lu B.A. Biological Sciences, B.A. Philosophy and Allied Fields, M.D.
    122. Jonathon Catlin B.A. Fundamentals
    123. Delancey Gelinas MBA
    124. S. Elizabeth Brandon AB Political Science
    125. Anonymous
    126. Anonymous
    127. Ahona Mukherjee B.A., Biological Sciences
    128. Rohan Sandhu B.A. Economics
    129. Laura Gluckman, B.A. English Language and Literature, MAT Urban Teacher Education Program