Unity College

Endowment Value: $15 (September2018)

Unity College is a private college with a student body of 700 located in Unity, Maine. The Spinnaker Trust and an Investment Committee, comprised of three members of the board of Trustees, manages the endowment.  Unity College is known as “America’s Environmental College” and is a founding member of the Intentional Endowments Network.

In 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investments in fossil fuels. As the first institution of higher learning in the United States to divest, Unity College became the standard bearer for a national movement. That Fall, UC’s finance officials released an internal report showing its portfolio has performed ahead of expectations since the decision. “Divestment has had no negative effect on our endowment portfolio,” said former Unity College President Dr. Stephen Mulkey, a leader in the growing campus divestment movement. “Divesting from fossil fuels is not a concession that means you automatically have a lower rate of return over the long run,” said Mulkey.

Critics point out that divesting institutions still use fossil fuels, but Mulkey sees an analogy to tobacco. “You can still be addicted while working on quitting,” he said. And in much the same way so-called “climate deniers” have tried to cast doubt on data that show rapidly rising global temperatures, some have questioned the significance of Unity’s divestment, given its relatively modest endowment – $13.5 million at the time, now $15 million. But given recent extremes in weather – and with the news of ever-larger institutions deciding to divest – both such arguments may be losing strength.


Unity College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments: 

 

Other Sustainable Investing Practices:

 

Get up to date IEN News

Sign up for our Newsletters