May 1st, 2013 | University

Yalies win community service award

A group of 16 Yale students associated with the Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investing Fund won a 2013 Connecticut Higher Education Community Service award last Tuesday.

The Dwight Hall SRI Fund — which manages a portion of the endowment of Dwight Hall and aims to direct investments toward social and environmental initiatives — came first in the student group category this year, besting 17 other student group nominees. The awards, which are given each year by the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, recognize community service activities initiated and conducted by college students.

“It’s definitely something new and unexpected when a bunch of finance-oriented students win a community service award,” said Daniel Shen ’14, a member of the management team for the Dwight Hall SRI Fund. “It’s really a testament to the idea of socially responsible investing.”

A portion of the Dwight Hall endowment has been dedicated to socially responsible investing, which refers to the practice of investing in companies and initiatives for social and environmental reasons, since 2008. The remainder of the Dwight Hall endowment is invested by the Yale Investments Office.

Shen said the Dwight Hall SRI Fund had $60,000 invested as of 2010. Through fundraising and investment returns, this sum has since grown to $86,000, he said.

The Dwight Hall SRI Fund was the first undergraduate-run SRI fund in the country, and Shen said he hopes more colleges will establish similar initiatives in the future.

Six investment professionals and seven Yale School of Management students serve as advisors for the Dwight Hall SRI Fund.