Sweet Briar College surpasses fiscal year 2021 fundraising and enrollment goals

Posted on July 15, 2021 by Dana Poleski

Sweet Briar College Bell Tower

It has been a championship season for Sweet Briar’s NCEA riding and NCAA tennis teams, but that isn’t the only success Sweet Briar had this year. The College also recruited its largest incoming class since 2013, and the Sweet Briar community of donors has responded to these successes with tremendous generosity.

Gifts to the Sweet Briar Fund exceeded the College’s initial $5 million goal, with total unrestricted giving to the Sweet Briar Fund reaching $7,735,696, as alumnae and friends responded to the global COVID-19 pandemic with increased generosity. Giving for the FY 2021 operating budget (restricted and unrestricted) reached $12,920,395. This total includes restricted gifts and grants to support initiatives such as the Willits Food System Fellows, new and increased scholarships, the rehabilitation of the Randolph Hall parlor and continued work on historic preservation. 

Contributions also supported other strategic priorities including the College’s agricultural enterprises (the vineyards, greenhouse and apiary), the construction of the health center, renovations to the riding center, Presidential Scholarships, further development of the women’s leadership core curriculum, the stabilization of the Outing Cabin and Boathouse, and more. The total fundraising outcome amounts to $15.8 million.

This was also a championship year for participation, with 25.2% of our alumnae making gifts to the College—the highest alumnae participation rate since 2016.

“Our alumnae network is vast and deep, and this year reminds us that we can accomplish so much together,” said Mary Pope M. Hutson ’83, senior vice president for alumnae relations, development and communications. “I am deeply grateful to alumnae and friends whose personal commitment to Sweet Briar is the hallmark of our community.”

President Meredith Woo also expressed her gratitude: “This place and its people are truly superlative. Every member of this community rolls up her or his sleeves and gets to work toward our common goal: educating young women who will go on to make history. I am so grateful to all of our alumnae and friends for their support.” 

Since 2015, Sweet Briar’s supporters have contributed $91.5 million to student scholarships, faculty and academic programs, the stewardship of the College’s natural and built environment, and strategic initiatives that make Sweet Briar innovative and attractive to young women across the country and around the world. Sweet Briar College is truly one of a kind.