Alumni Support of Mount Retirees
Dear President Newman,
We write to you today as proud alumni and alumnae of Mount St. Mary’s University, in the spirit of the dialogue and community in which we were formed on Mary’s mountain.
Many of us were saddened to learn of the Mount’s recent financial challenges and the decisions that they have prompted. We are especially saddened to learn of the termination of retiree health benefits. While we understand the economic realities facing colleges and universities today, we feel strongly that decisions regarding the financial well-being of all members of the Mount community must be made under the demands of justice, not expediency.
Drawing from the education we received as Mount students, we feel compelled by the demands of Catholic social teaching to urge you and the Board to reconsider these cuts. We urge you to engage, in the spirit of transparency, in an open dialogue with the entire Mount community to discuss these complex decisions, especially as they affect hourly workers and others who placed their faith and future on the assumption that the community they served would help them retire with dignity.
We make our demands in the spirit of Christian charity, and with the hope that we will find in your response to them the generosity we have come to expect from the Mount family. Therefore, we call for:
1) A reconsideration of recent decisions concerning financial cuts at the University, specifically the termination of retiree benefits;
2) A forum open to all members of the Mount community concerning the financial issues facing the University, specifically those which led to the decision to terminate retiree benefits.
We believe both of these to be consistent not only with the Governing Documents of the University but with the spirit and values of Mount St. Mary’s.
We also recognize that the generosity of the community from which we benefitted as students relies on our generosity in turn. We are prepared to organize and encourage, as alumni, a positive financial response were our concerns and the concerns of so many others to be heard. We are also prepared, however, to organize and encourage a cessation of alumni giving should our concerns be ignored.
We trust, President Newman, that as the Mount’s leader, you will live up to the values for which our beloved community has become known.