Sweet Briar College exceeds expectations

Fiscal year 2022 was another record fundraising year for Sweet Briar College, with gifts totaling $25.6 million.

Posted on July 18, 2022 by Abby May

Campus Drone photos shot by Adam Mullins.

Fiscal year 2022 was another record fundraising year for Sweet Briar College, with gifts totaling $25.6 million. This includes unrestricted gifts of more than $7 million from alumnae and friends, as well as restricted funds for scholarships, capital, endowment and other needs. The total also includes lead gifts for its upcoming campaign, several of which were covered in the news earlier this month about our Reunion class giving results

Some of this year’s gifts, many of which fall into areas of the upcoming campaign, were recognized during a series of ribbon cutting events in the fall of 2021. After extensive renovations in the two stable wings and the Bailey Room of the Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center, Sweet Briar named the stables in honor of Howell Lykes Colton ’38. The College’s health center was named the Kelsey Center for Health and Wellness in honor of Keenan Colton Kelsey ’66 in recognition of her generosity and focus on health and wellness. Further, Sweet Briar’s chapel was renamed the Mills Chapel to reflect many years of generosity by Norma Patteson Mills ’60 and her husband, Olan. In addition, Cornelia Long Matson ’58 was recognized for her generosity in stewarding Sweet Briar’s vineyards, especially its “Merlot tract.” 

Additional giving highlights from this banner year in giving include the College’s new water-based turf field. In April, the College held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of its construction. The turf field will give the field hockey and lacrosse programs renewed momentum and the best setting for their future success. The soccer team will also benefit from a new grass field and lights.

In May, the College announced the naming of its Center for Creativity, Design and the Arts after Kelley ’85 and C.T. Fitzpatrick. Recognized at an event in Pannell Fine Arts Center, the Fitzpatricks’ generosity was heralded by a suite composed by Joshua Harris, associate professor of music, and performed by faculty member Kay Rooney on violin. 

The College also received gifts for capital projects like its bird observation deck, made possible by the Class of 1976 in honor of their classmate Martha Hayes Cooper, and new scholarships for local students from Foster Fuels and other Sweet Briar friends.

“Sweet Briar is a unique institution—a category of one, really,” said President Meredith Woo. “It challenges and inspires women to lead with the skill, compassion and vision to create a more just and sustainable world. Our alumnae know in their bones the importance of this mission, and I am most grateful for the partnership.”

Sweet Briar remains indebted to all alumnae and friends for their continued commitment.