Sweet Briar alumnae and friends exceed goals and contribute more than $11.7 million

Posted on July 16, 2020 by Dana Poleski

Wildflower field

During fiscal year 2020, Sweet Briar College received gifts and pledge commitments totaling more than $11.7 million. Support came from individual gifts from alumnae, faculty, staff, the Board of Directors and friends of the College, as well as from corporate and foundation donors. 

Of the total, nearly $6.1 million came as unrestricted annual fund dollars and $598,137 as restricted dollars. In addition, donors fulfilled nearly $1.6 million in previous year pledges. There were additional gifts totaling nearly $600,000 in gifts to the endowment and  $2.9 million supporting strategic priority projects on the campus for viticulture, other agricultural enterprises and renovations to the stables at the Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center. Remarkably, the College saw its highest level of alumnae participation—24.5%—since 2017, while also exceeding enrollment goals.

“Despite the difficulties of dealing with a global pandemic, we have had some real success this year,” says President Meredith Woo. “Our donors’ generosity is once again the model for the nation, helping us exceed our goal and ensuring that Sweet Briar will continue to be able to offer an exceptional education in a beautiful setting.”

The importance of giving to Sweet Briar during this time cannot be overstated.  These generous contributions allow College leadership to take advantage of opportunities and face unanticipated challenges. When the global pandemic hit in March, the College was able to pivot to online teaching and learning, while continuing to maintain its campus. As Sweet Briar prepares to welcome students back in a few weeks, the College is implementing a number of improvements to keep its community safe by enhancing on-campus health services, social distancing and testing.  We are fortunate that Sweet Briar can give students the opportunity to have their own rooms at no extra cost. All donations to Sweet Briar help the College effectively respond to these challenges. 

Donations also support student scholarships, course development, the student experience and faculty, as well as Sweet Briar’s natural and built environment.  

Since 2015, Sweet Briar alumnae and friends have contributed $75.7 million.