Officials with the Foundation of the University of Presque Isle are pleased to announce that they have completed their efforts to totally divest from all fossil fuels. The Foundation, created to promote educational endeavors in connection with the University of Maine at Presque Isle, began this effort in Fall 2013 and completed its divestment in November 2014.
“The members of our Foundation Board felt it was important to make this important move and reaffirm our commitment to environmental sustainability,” Brian Flewelling, Foundation Board President, said. “This is an issue many institutions have been reviewing of late, and is especially top of mind here in our state because of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees’ approval of a coal divesture policy. We are very pleased to be leaders in this statewide movement.”
The Foundation’s decision to divest came as a result of the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s work on its new strategic plan and update of its statement of institutional values. With environmental sustainability as an important component within the plan and values, UMPI President Linda Schott approached the Foundation board about divestment to ensure consistency between the campus’ efforts and its foundation’s direct investments.
After consideration of the matter, the Foundation board directed its investment managers to divest from all fossil fuels in a way that did not significantly impact its rate of return. This process was completed in Nov. 2014.
“We are so pleased to have our campus and our Foundation taking this important stance,” President Schott said. “As a proud member of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, we are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our campus use of renewable energy sources—through our solar panel array, our wind turbine, and our heat pump technology—and our divestment from all fossil fuels is a vital part of that commitment.”
Established in 1972 through the direct efforts of a dedicated committee of the University-Presque Isle Community Council, the Foundation of the University at Presque Isle is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation with a Board of Directors representing the region. The Foundation receives and administers funds for scientific, educational and research purposes, all for the public welfare. Opportunities exist for memorial gifts, unrestricted gifts, scholarships, and other forms of giving.