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The meeting on the endowment this Tuesday was a great success!  Those attending included Ron Leibowitz, Dean of the College Shirley Collado, various faculty and an enormous assemblage of interested students.

Perhaps the most exciting outcome of the meeting was the President’s verbal commitment to continue the discussion in the future, specifically through duplications of this kind of session.  In my mind, communicating openly with the student body is a solid first step towards transparency.

Both MiddBlog and The Middlebury Campus reported on the event.  You can also find a hilarious live stream account of the meeting on MiddTwitt’s twitter (check out March 13, 4:30- 5:45).

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Ron Liebowitz sent out an email last Tuesday inviting all students to a meeting on the college’s endowment.  This is very exciting news!  

Hopefully the event will help to inform and engage the whole student body in this ever important facet of our school. Start preparing your questions, and see you next Tuesday, March 13th, at 4:15 in Dana Auditorium!

For the full text of Ron’s email, click “Read More” below.

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Learn about our endowment!

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Middlebury's Sustainable Investments Initiative

Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Middlebury announce Sustainable Investments Initiative

May 18, 2010

NEW YORK, NY and MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) and Middlebury College have announced the creation of the Sustainable Investments Initiative, a co-mingled fiscal vehicle seeking investments that generate long-term social, environmental, and economic value.  It will focus on investments that recognize the likely scenario of sustainability soon becoming a primary global economic driver.  The Initiative is structured to make investments in both public and private equity around the world.

“Making sustainability investments allows us to use our endowment to pursue investment objectives that reflect core philanthropic goals of the Fund,” said Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.  “We hope there comes a time when investing in the environment is simply a best practice that produces both economic and social gains.”

“We are pleased to be involved in this new initiative,” said Ron Liebowitz, president of Middlebury College. “We’re excited at the prospect of an initiative whose performance can further our educational mission while providing social and environmental value.”

The Sustainable Investments Initiative was created by Investure, RBF’s outsourced investment office since November 2007, exclusively for its clients to meet their need for sustainability-oriented investments.  The Rockefeller Brothers Fund Board of Trustees has approved a commitment of about $35–$70 million, 5 to 10 percent of its current endowment,  toward the Sustainable Investments Initiative.  Middlebury College, an Investure client since May 2005, has committed $4 million to the Initiative with a goal of raising an additional $4 million.

All investments made through the Initiative will undergo Investure’s strict due diligence and be made with a comprehensive understanding of the risk and reward of each specific strategy.  High quality companies and management teams that have taken a long-term approach to managing the economic, environmental, and social aspects of business will make up the core of the Initiative.  In addition, the Initiative will seek investments focused specifically on sustainability issues such as clean energy, water, climate science, and green building projects, in an effort to identify businesses positioned to become a part of the worldwide shift to improve energy efficiency, decrease dependence on fossil fuels, and mitigate the effects of global climate change.

About the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Founded in 1940, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund encourages social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.  The RBF’s grantmaking is organized around three themes:  Democratic Practice, Sustainable Development, and Peace and Security and three pivotal places:  New York City, Southern China, and the Western Balkans.

About Middlebury College
Middlebury College, one of the country’s top liberal arts colleges, offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is particularly strong in languages, international studies, environmental studies (the oldest undergraduate program in the nation), sciences and literature. Middlebury has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2016. About 2,400 students attend Middlebury, which was founded in 1800 and is located in Middlebury, Vt.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund contact: 
Gail Fuller, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, at 212-812-4242 or gfuller@rbf.org.

Middlebury College contact:
Sarah Ray, Middlebury College, at 802-443-5794 or ray@middlebury.edu.

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Middlebury’s Socially Responsible Investment Club is trying to make Midd’s endowment ethical. What is one thing you do not want your endowment invested in?