From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


Grads nationwide are taking pledge

headquartered at Manchester College

Alliance seeks social, environmental consciousness

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Thousands of graduates from more than 120 colleges and universities all over the nation are making The Graduation Pledge. Many also are pinning a tiny green ribbon on their gowns at commencement ceremonies. The ribbon may be small, but it speaks volumes about the character and conviction of those displaying it.

Seniors take The Graduation Pledge to dedicate themselves to social and environmental consciousness on their future jobs:

“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.”

The Graduation Pledge is coordinated nationwide by the Graduation Pledge Alliance, hosted at Manchester College under the direction of Professor Neil J. Wollman since 1996. Today, the Pledge is taken by graduates at 120 campuses in the United States and at colleges and universities in Canada, Australia, France, Taiwan, Mexico and Singapore.

Jamie M. Riedeman of Indianapolis took the pledge and wore the ribbon when she received her bachelor’s degree in 1999 and her master’s of accountancy from Manchester College in 2000. “To be socially responsible, you need to take a step back to see what you have and not carry an attitude that you deserve things,” said Riedeman, who now is controller for Associated General Contractors and does accounting for non-profit organizations. Riedeman, also audited non-profits at a previous job. “There are so many organizations and non-profits out there,” she said. “Someone needs to make sure they are spending those gifts wisely.”

Dana Nixon of St. Louis, Mo., took the pledge when she received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Manchester in 1996. “I knew I was driven toward service,” she said. “Once your eyes are open to injustice, they can never be closed.” Among her activism has been to petitioned against the expansion of Indiana’s highway systems.

William Benysh, a biology-chemistry teacher for Wabash (Ind.) Community Schools, took the pledge.  The 1989 graduate of Manchester College says he is confident in its message. “I feel now The Graduation Pledge was a great statement of optimism and an acceptance of the responsibility of adulthood,” he said. “I took those words seriously. It's strange to think back on the impact that The Graduation Pledge and the mind-set that I had at the time has had on me. Social and environmental responsibility is a way of life I have chosen. I probably would have lived a life not much different than this without the Pledge, but it is something tangible that I can look back on to help guide my way.”

For more information about The Graduation Pledge Alliance, visit or contact Dr. Neil Wollman at

The independent Manchester College offers more than 45 areas of study to 1,170 students from 29 states and 33 countries. As part of its complete liberal arts catalog, the residential college offers nationally acclaimed accounting, pre-med and peace studies programs and a master’s degree in accounting. For more information about Manchester College, visit the web site at

Manchester Media Relations

News Releases

Mission Statement