Letter to the Community: December Update

Posted on January 16, 2020 by Meredith Woo

December, 2019

Dear Alumnae and members of the Sweet Briar community,

An extraordinarily successful semester at Sweet Briar is coming to a close. Tomorrow is the last day of classes of the twelve-week term and the students are busy finishing their projects and papers. Next week, they will take their final exams and then head home for the holiday break.  As I reflect on this joyous time of year, and what it means to all of us, I certainly have many reasons to feel thankful for what has already proven to be a very generous season of giving for the College.

In the last several weeks, I have announced significant investments in Sweet Briar that will have lasting impacts on our students. We received a $5 million gift from an anonymous alumna that will primarily be used to expand our Presidential Scholars program (click here to read the announcement), helping us attract, enroll, and retain the best and brightest young women. In addition, three individuals: John Nau, Ginger Mitchell ’63 and an anonymous alumna, made gifts totaling $3 million to support the Women’s Leadership Core Curriculum (click here to read the announcement). Over the next five years, these funds will support the further development and integration of the Core, whose innovations have drawn national attention and reinforced Sweet Briar’s reputation as the college that produces women leaders, as demonstrated by the many accomplishments of our amazing alumnae.

Restricted investments such as these, which are targeted for a special purpose, are critically important to advancing my vision of Sweet Briar as a college defined by academic innovation and a superb student body. But the realization of that vision—which I know you share with me—also requires unrestricted dollars, gifts that help support our programs, students, faculty, staff and the stewardship of our magnificent campus on an annual basis.

That is why today, I am delighted to announce that during #GivingTuesday, we raised $401,247 in unrestricted funds from 545 supporters, eclipsing the number of 403 individual donors from #GivingTuesday 2018—an increase of 35%. Furthermore, thanks to these results, Sweet Briar alumnae almost doubled their own giving participation rate for calendar year 2019.

But the year isn’t over yet! That is why I am asking you now to continue to support our beloved College by making a gift in 2019 to help us reach our goal of raising $6 million in unrestricted funds this academic year. I am so grateful for all you do for Sweet Briar. Thank you again and I wish you a peaceful and beautiful holiday season.


Meredith Woo

PS: If you have not yet made your 2019 gift to Sweet Briar, now is a great time to do so! Visit sbc.edu/give to make your gift online or you can mail your gift to P.O. Box 1057, Sweet Briar, VA 24595. You can also give us a call at (800) 381-6131 to make your gift by phone or notify us of a stock transfer, wire transfer or gift through your IRA. To be included in the 2019 calendar year, gifts must be postmarked or received by December 31, 2019.

No matter when or how you choose to give, your generosity truly makes a difference to the College.

Be sure to join in the holiday joy going on at Sweet Briar by visiting our Facebook album of photos like this one from the campus festivities!