Students’ struggle to effect social change through Reed College and its endowment is not new. In the 1980s students fought to have the college divest from South Africa and last year students continued to fight for social change and urged Reed to divest from fossil fuels.
Igor Vamos ’90, chosen to give their commencement address by the Class of 2014, announced that the College would completely divest its $500 million endowment of fossil fuels. Reedies rejoiced over the good news — what many students campaigned for and believed in — and announced it to their friends and family online. But just hours later the Reed community received an email dashing its hopes of divestment. Vamos’ culture-jamming political activism group, Yes Men, had planned the prank with Fossil Free Reed.