[Dear Member of the Board; We have compiled this package of information and opinions for your personal consideration before the next meeting of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University.]
by Willy Packard, GU Committee for Responsible Investment
Washington, DC, United States
April 25, 1985
Letter to members of the Board of Georgetown University from Willy Packard, Coordinator of the Committee for Responsible Investment (CRI). The letter expresses opposition to apartheid and indignation over continuing U.S. support for the minority government. CRI asks the Board to consider total divestment of Georgetown University endowment funds from corporations which do business in South Africa. The direct economic effect of university divestment will be insignificant; Georgetown has a small but rapidly growing endowment fund, of which $11 million is presently invested in firms with interests in South Africa. Therefore, divestment is largely a symbolic act. But as U.S. investors change their investment guidelines, multinational corporations will have to weigh the value of unfavorable public opinion at home vs. terminating their lucrative investments in South Africa. Political and diplomatic pressure on South Africa will fall on deaf ears until we back it up with comprehensive economic pressure. Georgetown students have been actively working against apartheid for several years, educating students on campus about the issues. CRI has chosen to work with the Administration on the divestment issue. We appreciate the efforts of Vice-President George Houston and the Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility to address these issues fairly and comprehensively. As more Americans are becoming aware of the cruelty and injustice of apartheid, emotions are overflowing in demonstrations and protests nationwide. CRI wants Georgetown University to take the initiative and to act collectively, students, faculty and administrators together, to take a clear and unambiguous stand against apartheid.
Collection: Kathleen McShea Erville papers