Continuing to Grow the Graduation Pledge Alliance

Posted by on March 05, 2013

The Alliance is the international coordinating body for those schools using the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. The Pledge was established in 1987 at Humboldt State University in California by socially and environmentally committed students who were graduating and moving into the workplace.  These students had been active in social and environmental responsibility activities and were determined to ensure that this commitment continued as they moved through their lives. The Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility states:

“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.”

In 1988 I helped to bring the Graduation Pledge to Manchester College, which also served as the second host school for the Graduation Pledge Alliance from 1996 to 2007. In 2007 the Graduation Pledge Alliance moved to Bentley University where it is currently hosted by the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility ( and is guided by the Graduation Pledge Alliance Executive Committee. I currently serve as Secretary for the Executive Committee and as a Senior Fellow with the Bentley Alliance.

Over the years, the Graduation Pledge has been implemented at over 300 high schools, universities, and professional schools.  Today, the mission of the Graduation Pledge Alliance is to build a global community of graduates whose commitment to social and environmental responsibility in the workplace and in the rest of their lives is helping to build a healthy, sustainable, and just world. The Graduation Pledge Alliance works toward this mission by providing support and processes for three levels of pledge activity:

·        Campus chapters of students who seek to incorporate the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility as a part of their graduation experience in order to make choices about their employment and other aspects of their lives in a more serious and life-influencing way.

·        High Schools, Colleges, and Professional Schools using the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility as a vehicle for integrating or strengthening values and citizenship education throughout their curriculum and the entire student experience along with the teaching of traditional knowledge and skills.

·        Pledge signers and alumni impacting the workplace and society to become concerned about more than just the “bottom line.”

In all of these activities the Graduation Pledge Alliance encourages individuals, chapters, and schools to determine for themselves – consistent with building a healthy, sustainable, and just world – the meaning of social and environmental responsibility; and to adopt and/or reword the pledge as appropriate for their situation.

If you are willing to help the Graduation Pledge Alliance pursue our mission on a global basis, promote the Graduation Pledge through your own networks, or just assist a single school, please contact our Executive Director Bill Benet at:

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