“Princeton will have the most significant impact on the climate crisis through the scholarship we generate and the people we educate,” said President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83.
I agree generally with President Eisgruber and would say that an institution that celebrates the commitment of its students to consistency regarding “cause and effect” is truly preparing its students to address the challenges of the world. Change comes about because a few people decide not to accept the status quo and choose to do the work of change. They gather support and find ways to be heard. They try persuasion on the inside, and push from the outside to expose and protest. As urgency grows, changemakers are joined by others who see the necessity for action.
Princeton should be proud of the determination of Princeton undergrads, grad students, and alums over the last five years who wouldn’t let “no” stand, who called out delay tactics and literally educated administration and trustees on the inextricable link between Princo investments and the intellectual products of academia. The president, representing the administration, should acknowledge and celebrate the role of Divest Princeton, and that of changemakers generally at an institution that generally presents its decisions as top down. Such acknowledgement wouldn’t weaken the decisions of the administration, it would reinforce and strengthen them.
As an alumni supporter of this group I have been floored by the intelligence and moral dignity of members as they have researched, proposed, partnered, informed, called out and dragged this institution forward to do what it has known for far too long that it must do. They are the best Princeton has to offer to a world that is standing at the brink. Without smart, moral, loyal, and determined students, Princeton trustees would not have moved forward on divestment and dissociation. And yet in its formal statement the administration said not one word about Divest Princeton. Let’s hear the administration sing their praises. Divest Princeton is still working — there is more to do.