May 5, 2005
Green Pledge close to graduates’ heart and solar
Southampton College alumni allowing pledges to influence career decisions
Amber Bryant (email@example.com)
Southampton, NY –Green ribbons will adorn the gowns of many of the graduates at the annual commencement ceremony to be held on Sunday, May 22 – a signal that they are participants in the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, promising to evaluate the broader consequences of any job they take.
The voluntary pledge, in its fifth year at Southampton College, has influenced the lives and career decisions of alumni scattered all over the country. Sara McNally took the pledge and now works at the University of Pennsylvania conducting breast cancer research.
“I have taken the pledge to heart and think about the impact that my jobs have on the environment as a whole. We use many toxic chemicals for various tests and I’m always extremely conscientious about making sure these chemicals are properly disposed of,” she said. “The pledge we took is always with me and I think it is an important thing to carry on even if the college itself is no more.”
Gary J. Minnick graduated before the pledge was implemented and wishes he had been given the chance to participate. He now works for Go Solar, Inc., a company dedicated to encouraging solar electricity and wind power in American homes.
“I would extend the pledge to past graduates who have already lived such a life or will from this day forward. I’d be willing to chip in $50 to have the opportunity to sign such a pledge,” he said.
Southampton College graduates join students from other prestigious regional higher learning institutions, including Fordham University, Columbia University, Hunter College, and Manhattan College, as well as over 130 universities nationwide. The pledge is a “natural” for Southampton College, which has produced 37 Fulbright Scholars in the last 28 years from its top marine and environmental programs.
At the Southampton College commencement ceremony, volunteers will hand out green ribbons to those graduates who take the pledge. The language of the pledge is printed in the official commencement program: “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.”
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