UMass to include vote for divestment of fossil fuels at next Board of Trustees meeting

By Stuart Foster

Daily Collegian/Judith Gibson-Okunieff
Daily Collegian/Judith Gibson-Okunieff

The University of Massachusetts divested its endowment from direct holdings in fossil fuels today, according to a press release sent by the UMass Foundation, becoming the first major public university to do so.

The decision was made after a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the UMass Foundation, an organization which oversees and arranges the endowment of UMass.

In April eight days of demonstrations from the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign resulted in the arrest of 34 participants for refusing to leave the Whitmore Administration Building.

The Whitmore sit-in led to a commitment from UMass system President Marty Meehan that a vote for divestment would be on the agenda at the next UMass Board of Trustees meeting.

“Important societal change often begins on college campuses and it often begins with students,” Meehan was quoted as saying in the press release. “I’m proud of the students and the entire University community for putting UMass at the forefront of a vital movement, one that has been important to me throughout my professional life.”

Stuart Foster can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @Stuart_C_Foster.